Incremental amounts of Ascophyllum nodosum meal do not improve animal performance but do increase milk iodine output in early lactation dairy cows fed high-forage diets
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of incremental amounts of Ascophyllum nodosum meal (ANOD) on milk production, milk composition including fatty acids and I, blood metabolites, and nutrient intake and digestibility in early lactation dairy cows fed high-forage diets. Twelve multiparous Jersey cows averaging (mean ± standard deviation) 40 ± 21 d in milk and 464 ± 35 kg of body weight and 4 primiparous Jersey cows averaging 75 ± 37 d in milk and 384 ± 17 kg of body weight were randomly assigned to treatment sequences in a replicated 4 × 4 Latin square design. Each period lasted 21 d with 14 d for diet adaptation and 7 d for data and sample collection. Cows were fed a total mixed ration (64:36 forage-to-concentrate ratio) supplemented (as fed) with 0, 57, 113, or 170 g/d of ANOD. Milk yield as well as concentrations and yields of milk components (fat, protein, lactose, milk urea N) were not affected by increasing dietary amounts of ANOD. Concentration (from 178 to 1,370 µg/L) and yield (from 2.8 to 20.6 mg/d) of milk I increased linearly in cows fed incremental amounts of ANOD as a result of the high concentration of I (820 mg/kg of dry matter) in ANOD. Overall, only minor changes were observed in the proportion of milk fatty acids with ANOD supplementation. Quadratic trends were observed for dry matter intake and total-tract digestibilities of organic matter and neutral detergent fiber, whereas negative linear trends were observed for serum concentration of cortisol and crude protein digestibility with ANOD supplementation. Serum concentrations of triiodothyronine and thyroxine were not affected by ANOD supplementation and averaged 1.1 and 48.4 ng/mL, respectively. However, feeding increasing amounts of ANOD linearly reduced the plasma concentration of nonesterified fatty acids (from 164 to 132 mEq/L). Quadratic effects were found for the total-tract digestibility of ADF and urinary output of purine derivatives, suggesting that ANOD supplementation may stimulate growth of ruminal cellulolytic bacteria in a dose-dependent fashion. In general, feeding incremental amounts of ANOD to early lactation dairy cows dramatically increased milk I concentration and output with no effect on animal performance.
Journal of Dairy Science
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N.T. Antaya, K.J. Soder, J. Kraft, N.L. Whitehouse, N.E. Guindon, P.S. Erickson, A.B. Conroy, A.F. Brito. Incremental amounts of Ascophyllum nodosum meal do not improve animal performance but do increase milk iodine output in early lactation dairy cows fed high-forage diets. Journal of Dairy Science, Volume 98, Issue 3, March 2015, Pages 1991–2004. https://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2014-8851
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