January 15, 2018
When is the right time to initiate fat supplementation?
Fat supplementation must be initiated long enough before fats are needed for restoring the reproductive tissues to a new fertile state.
Ovarian activity normally returns within the first 4 weeks of calving.
By initiating fat feeding prepartum, this would allow the absorbed fatty acids to help improve ovarian activity.
The recommended time to initiate fat supplementation would be 21 - 40 days prior to the desired physiological response.
Fats were supplemented to cows around 3 - 5 weeks before the calculated due date.
This would enable to tissues to begin storing useful fatty acids prior when they need it the most.
Test were conducted to determine whether the initiation of fat supplementation (2 % DM) should begin at 5 weeks prepartum, at calving or 28 days post calving.
From the study, it is shown that cows fed fat starting in the prepartum period produced most milk and is in better health condition as compared to the other groups in the first 10 days after calving.
There are some fat sources that will help improve the immune system of the cows.
If that is the case, it is recommended to feed fat during transition period.
Studies have shown that a fat should be fed at a minimum amount of 1.5% of the diet DM.
Not much studies have been done regarding the benefits of feeding less than 1.5% of diet DM.