2023 Tri-State Dairy Conference – New Revelations in Transition Cow Nutrition
Dr. Mike Van Amburgh, Dr. Jose Santos and Dr. Heather White
Episode 68: 2023 Tri-State Dairy Conference – New Revelations in Transition Cow Nutrition
Dr. Van Amburgh of Cornell University led the discussion, summarizing his report on essential and required nutrients such as amino acids and choline. He mentioned when formulating diets for lactating cows, it’s important to understand there are other nutrients that aren’t necessarily essential but are required. 4:53
Shifting the conversation, Dr. Van Amburgh said establishing an optimum value has now replaced nutrient requirements based on energy. Recent evidence indicates that feeding rumen protected choline (RPC) significantly improves milk production. In addition, supplementing choline shows an increase in low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) output from the liver. 7:21
Highlighting her research in supplementing choline, Dr. White shared that studies show a 20 to 25% increase from cells and culture after incorporating the nutrient. She added choline also increased the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) capacity, indicating a shift in nutrient incorporation. 11:45
As milk increases when infusing non-essential amino acids or even by using meta-analysis to supplement choline, how is glucose supply impacted? Dr. Santos, who focused his research on meta-analysis, said that even with the concurrent increase in dry matter intake, efficiency has still increased. He went on to say that studies from Wisconsin and Michigan highlight the basic understanding of a cow’s variable ability to synthesis glucose differently with the ability to produce at least two kilograms more milk consistently. 21:30
Within some of Dr. White’s meta-analysis research, she mentioned mixing choline into the total mixed ration (TMR) allowed for the opportunity to analyze exact intake and also outcome production or energy corrected milk (ECM) fat. 34:08
If cost isn’t an issue, Dr. Santos mentioned that he’s seen experiments feeding choline longer than 21 days postpartum and into 105 days at 12.9 grams. While no major benefit showed at that dosage amount, he added that other studies have shown benefits feeding choline longer and into mid lactation. 39:41
Switching gears, Scott Sorrell, podcast host and director of global marketing for Balchem asked Dr. Santos about epigenetics and the effect choline has on behavioral changes. 44:59
Sharing that epigenetics shifts genomes without changing sequences, Dr. Santos mentioned that through a two-by-two factorial experiment on choline, research indicates calf behaviors shifting and performance increasing. He went on to mention that history shows 30% of calves that were born from control dams and fed colostrum from control dams died from lipopolysaccharide challenges. 51:10
Wrapping up the conversation, Dr. Zimmerman, podcast co-host and technical services manager for Balchem said that research speaks for itself. He stated that higher producing cows continue to prove choline as a required nutrient for transition cows. 55:50
Please subscribe and share with your industry friends to bring more people to join us around the Real Science Exchange virtual pub table.
If you want one of our new Real Science Exchange t-shirts, screenshot your rating, review, or subscription, and email a picture to [email protected]. Include your size and mailing address, and we’ll get a shirt in the mail to you.