Journal Highlight: Effects of different strategies of mineral supplementation (marine algae alone or combined with rumen boluses) in organic dairy systems

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  • Published: Nov 1, 2016
  • Author: spectroscopyNOW
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thumbnail image: Journal Highlight: Effects of different strategies of mineral supplementation (marine algae alone or combined with rumen boluses) in organic dairy systems
The effects of marine algae and regular mineral supplements on milk production, composition and quality in organic dairy cattle were assessed with the aid of ICPMS.

Effects of different strategies of mineral supplementation (marine algae alone or combined with rumen boluses) in organic dairy systems

Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, 2016, 100, 836-843
M. López-Alonso, F. Rey-Crespo, I. Orjales, R. Rodríguez-Bermúdez and M. Miranda

Abstract: This study was designed to evaluate the effect of marine algae supplementation alone or in combination with a regular mineral supplement (rumen boluses) to improve the mineral status in organic dairy cattle and their effect on the milk mineral composition, milk production, composition (% of fat and protein) and quality (SCC). Thirty-two Holstein Friesian lactating cows were randomly selected and assigned to the algae (A), boluses (B), algae+boluses (AB) and control group (C). For the algae groups (A, AB), a supplement composed of Sea Lettuce (80%), Japanese Wireweed (17.5%) and Furbelows (2.5%) was formulated to be given to the cows at the rate of 100 g/animal per day (A1) for the length of 4 weeks. In the second half of the experiment (weeks 5–8), the algae mixture was reformulated and the proportion of Furbelows was increased from 2.5% to 5.0% with a subsequent decrease of Lettuce to 77.5% (A2). In the boluses group (B), each cow received 2 boluses after calving. Blood (serum) and milk samples were collected at 2 and 4 week intervals, respectively, and analysed for trace element concentrations by ICP-MS. Information related to the milk composition and SCC during a 305-day lactation for each animal were obtained from the Dairy Records Management System. The supplementation with algae, boluses or the combination of both treatments showed a statistically significant effect on the iodine (algae), selenium (boluses) and cobalt (algae+boluses) status of the animals. In milk, treatments had a statistical significant increase on iodine, and a tendency to increase selenium concentrations. The assayed algae mixture combined with another source of selenium could be an effective tool to improve the mineral status in serum and milk.

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