Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 34

34 ❙ FeedStrategy
MODERN VITAMIN NUTRITION

In the past 20 or so years, the issue
of immunity has become central
in animal nutrition research. It
has been noted in cattle that at
the time around parturition, the
immune system is generally down,
and this coincides with low(er)
circulating levels of some vitamins.
Supplementation with certain vitamins during such times resulted in
better immune responses - and
subsequently improved health and
productivity - at least in some
trials. Thus, it is often in periparturition supplements that we see
elevated levels of vitamins (mostly
A, E and some B vitamins). Perhaps
this is not a cure, but certainly a
helping hand for a difficult period
in the life of the animal. Again, the
marketing noise around this issue
makes science difficult to find its
place in practice as this is a tool and
not a standard fix.

Vitamins and mastitis
One of the most common observations associated with low circulating
levels of vitamins has been mastitis
- a perennial problem with dairy
cattle. Adding extra vitamins often,
but not always, prevents or alleviates
this problem. We cannot claim that
with vitamins alone we can resolve
mastitis, but they do help in some
cases. Now, what vitamins actually
help is rather difficult to establish,

Livestock premixes
evolve to meet consumer
demands: www.
WATTAgNet.com/
articles/33231

but the same suspects (A, E and
some of the B group) are frequently
found in such support supplements.

Antioxidation
The two most powerful vitamin antioxidants that we routinely supply to
dairy cows are beta-carotene (provitamin A) and vitamin E. The first is
often supplied at enough quantities by
fresh forage, but the second is seldom
enough for high-yielding animals.
Modern production methods (high
feed intake, high yield, stressful
housing conditions, diseases, etc.)
increase the oxidation burden of all
farm animals, including dairy cows.
And although there is a plethora of
antioxidants that the organism is
producing, the role of vitamin E in
cellular membrane integrity (that is,
keeping the organism up straight) can
never be overemphasized. Here, as
with other species, most knowledgeable nutritionists prefer to err toward
over-supplementation, especially
when milk prices are high. Luckily,
the issue of oxidation and the need to

Cargill Animal Nutrition

Vitamins and immunity

supply enough antioxidants (including
minerals such as selenium) is rightly
acknowledged by ruminant nutritionists, something their fellow monogastric nutritionists are still struggling to
come to terms with.

Time to revisit
vitamin nutrition
If cows graze all day in the country
and belong to a breed that produces
just enough milk for homemade
butter and cheese, then a powerful
vitamin nutritional supplement will
probably be not necessary. But, if you
own an enterprise with hundreds or
thousands of dairy cows producing
an unprecedented amount of milk
(and you already push for more),
then it is a good idea to employ the
services of a qualified nutritionist to
revisit your vitamin nutrition, especially if the last time this was done
was in the previous century.
This does not always mean
vitamin levels should be increased.
Modern marketing has pushed
supplementation levels often to
unprecedented high levels that
are simply not warranted. Or, it
might be the case that the problem
associated with increased vitamin
supplementation has been resolved
and it is now time to return to
normal levels. At any rate, using
the right level for the right purpose
is a sure way to maximize performance and profitability. ■

Ioannis Mavromichalis, Ph.D., is an animal nutrition industry consultant. To contact Mavromichalis, email
imavromichalis@icloud.com.
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ July 2019


https://www.wattagnet.com/articles/33231-livestock-premixes-evolve-to-meet-consumer-demands https://www.wattagnet.com/articles/33231-livestock-premixes-evolve-to-meet-consumer-demands http://www.WATTAgNet.com

Feed Strategy - July 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Feed Strategy - July 2019

Feed Strategy - July 2019
Contents
In the Mix
Industry Happenings
Consumers invested in animal welfare, but knowledge is limited
Piglet welfare is compromised by feed regulations
Nutritional strategies for piglet diets without zinc oxide
Marketing nutrition through your own local offices
Retiring AFIA CEO Joel Newman’s advice for feed industry
Nutritional factors that influence milk quality, composition
Modern dairy cows deserve modern vitamin nutrition
The effect of feed particle size on pig health
SPACE to focus on many issues facing agriculture
The latest in bulk feed transportation equipment
Products
Advertisers’ Index
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - CT1
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - CT2
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - Feed Strategy - July 2019
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - Cover2
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - Contents
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - In the Mix
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - Industry Happenings
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - Consumers invested in animal welfare, but knowledge is limited
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 5
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 6
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 7
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - Piglet welfare is compromised by feed regulations
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 9
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 10
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 11
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 12
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 13
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 14
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 15
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 16
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 17
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 18
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - Nutritional strategies for piglet diets without zinc oxide
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 20
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 21
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - Marketing nutrition through your own local offices
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 23
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - Retiring AFIA CEO Joel Newman’s advice for feed industry
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 25
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 26
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 27
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - Nutritional factors that influence milk quality, composition
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 29
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 30
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 31
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - Modern dairy cows deserve modern vitamin nutrition
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 33
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 34
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 35
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - The effect of feed particle size on pig health
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 37
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 38
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 39
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - 40
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - SPACE to focus on many issues facing agriculture
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - The latest in bulk feed transportation equipment
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - Products
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - Advertisers’ Index
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - Cover3
Feed Strategy - July 2019 - Cover4
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