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Added dietary cobalt or vitamin B12, or injecting vitamin B12 does not improve performance or indicators of ketosis in pre- and post-partum Holstein-Friesian dairy cows

Weerathilake, W.A.D.V., Brassington, A.H., Williams, S.J., Kwon, W.Y., Sinclair, L.A. and Sinclair, K.D. (2018) Added dietary cobalt or vitamin B12, or injecting vitamin B12 does not improve performance or indicators of ketosis in pre- and post-partum Holstein-Friesian dairy cows. Animal: An International Journal of Animal Bioscience.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1017/S175173111800232X

Abstract

Vitamin B12 is synthesised in the rumen from cobalt and has a major role in metabolism in the peripaturient period, although few studies have evaluated the effect of the dietary inclusion of cobalt (Co), vitamin B12 or injecting vitamin B12 on the metabolism, health and performance of high yielding dairy cows. Fifty-six Holstein-Friesian dairy cows received one of four treatments from 8 weeks prior to calving to 8 weeks post calving: C, no added Co; DC, additional 0.2 mg Co/kg DM; DB, additional 0.68 mg vitamin B12/kg DM; IB, intra-muscular injection of vitamin B12 to supply 0.71 mg/cow/day pre-partum and 1.42 mg/cow/day post-partum. The basal and lactation rations both contained 0.21 mg Co/kg DM. Cows were weighed and condition scored at drying off, 4 weeks prior to calving, within 24 h of calving and at 2, 4 and 8 weeks post-calving, with blood samples collected at drying off, 2 weeks pre-calving, calving and 2, 4 and 8 weeks post-calving. Liver biopsy samples were collected from all animals at drying off and 4 weeks post-calving. Live weight changed with time, but there was no effect of treatment (P>0.05), whereas cows receiving IB had the lowest mean body condition score and DB the highest (P<0.05). There was no effect of treatment on post-partum DM intake, milk yield or milk fat concentration (P>0.05) with mean values of 21.6 kg/day, 39.6 kg/day and 40.4 g/kg respectively. Cows receiving IB had a higher plasma vitamin B12 concentration than those receiving any of the other treatments (P<0.001), but there was no effect (P>0.05) of treatment on homocysteine or succinate concentrations, although mean plasma methylmalonic acid concentrations were lower (P=0.019) for cows receiving IB than for Control cows. Plasma β-hydroxybutyrate concentrations increased sharply at calving followed by a decline, but there was no effect of treatment. Similarly, there was no effect (P>0.05) of treatment on plasma non-esterified fatty acids or glucose. Whole tract digestibility of DM and fibre measured at week 7 of lactation were similar between treatments, and there was little effect of treatment on the milk fatty acid profile except for C15:0, which was lower in cows receiving DC than IB (P<0.05). It is concluded that a basal dietary concentration of 0.21 mg Co/kg DM is sufficient to meet the requirements of high yielding dairy cows during the transition period, and there is little benefit from additional Co or vitamin B12.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Cobalt and Vitamin B12, metabolism in dairy cows
Divisions: Animal Production, Welfare and Veterinary Sciences
Depositing User: Ms Kath Osborn
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2018 13:17
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2019 11:23
URI: http://hau.collections.crest.ac.uk/id/eprint/17335

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