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Effects of rumen-protected choline and dry propylene glycol on feed intake and blood parameters for Holstein dairy cows in early lactation

Chung, Y.-H., Brown, N.E., Martinez, C.M., Cassidy, T.W., Varga, G.A.
Journal of dairy science 2009 v.92 no.6 pp. 2729-2736
rumen, choline, feed intake, blood composition, Holstein, dairy cows, cow feeding, propylene glycol, ruminant nutrition, early lactation, milk yield, dietary supplements, experimental diets, blood sampling
A 6 x 6 Latin square design was used to test 3 sets of comparisons simultaneously to study response in dry matter intake, milk yield, and blood parameters to propylene glycol (PG) supplementation delivered by 2 methods [incorporating PG into the total mixed ration (TMR) vs. top dressing; comparison I]; individual or combined dietary choline and PG supplementation as a 2 x 2 factorial (comparison II); or increasing amounts of dietary choline (comparison III). Six multiparous (lactation number = 1.5 ± 0.8 SD) Holstein dairy cows were at 41 d in milk (± 9 SD) at the start of the experiment. Propylene glycol used was a dry product containing 65% PG, and choline was a rumen-protected choline product (RPC; estimated to be 50% rumen-protected) containing 50% choline chloride. In comparison I, treatments compared were 1) control: no PG; 2) PG-TMR: 250 g/d of dry PG (corresponding to 162.5 g/d of PG) incorporated into the TMR; and 3) PG-top dress: 250 g/d of dry PG top-dressed onto the TMR. In comparison II, treatments compared were 1) control: no PG and no RPC; 2) PG: 250 g/d of dry PG incorporated into the TMR; 3) RPC: 50 g/d of RPC top-dressed onto the TMR; and 4) PG+RPC: combination of treatments 2 and 3. In comparison III, treatments compared were 0, 25, and 50 g/d of RPC top-dressed onto the TMR. Each experimental period lasted 10 d with 9 d of adaptation followed by 1 d of serial blood sampling. Dry matter intake and milk yield were recorded daily. During the serial blood sampling, jugular blood was sampled every 20 min for the first 4 h and at 8 and 12 h after treatment administration. Results obtained from comparison I showed that feeding 250 g/d of PG as a dry product decreased plasma β-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA) concentration (mean ± SEM) from 701 ± 81 (control) to 564 ± 76 μmol/L without affecting serum insulin, plasma glucose, or plasma nonesterified fatty acid concentrations. Top-dressing PG decreased plasma BHBA concentrations more than by incorporating it into the TMR [527 vs. 601 μmol/L (± 81 pooled SEM)]. Results obtained from comparison II showed that supplementing choline as RPC, PG, or both had no effect on dry matter intake, milk yield, or any of the blood parameters measured. Results obtained from comparison III showed that milk yield tended to increase linearly with increasing amounts of dietary choline as RPC. We concluded that feeding PG as a dry product reduced plasma BHBA concentration but top-dressing PG was more efficient at reducing plasma BHBA level than incorporating PG into the TMR. Dietary choline as RPC tended to increase milk yield linearly. However, a combined effect of dietary PG and choline was not evident and therefore not beneficial.