Effect on Milking Performance of Vitamin-Trace Element Supplements to Early Lactation Italian Brown Cows Grazing Ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) Pasture

  • Tufarelli, Vincenzo (Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Study of Bari 'Aldo Moro') ;
  • Khan, R.U. (Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Agriculture) ;
  • Laudadio, V. (Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Study of Bari 'Aldo Moro')
  • Received : 2011.03.09
  • Accepted : 2011.06.01
  • Published : 2011.09.01


The objective of this study was to examine the effects of concentrates containing different levels of a vitamin-trace elements premix on milk yield and composition of dairy cows. The trial, which lasted 14 weeks, was conducted from January to March and used 45 multiparous Brown cows in the early phase of lactation. Cows (n = 15 per treatment) were randomly allocated to three dietary treatments: the first group (control, C-0) was fed pelleted concentrate containing background vitamins and trace elements that supplied 1.0 times cows' daily requirements; the second group were fed the same concentrate, but containing 2.5 g/kg of vitamin and trace mineral premix per kg of concentrate (C-2.5); the third group were fed the same concentrate, but containing 5 g/kg of vitamin and trace mineral premix per kg of concentrate (C-5). The daily ration included ad libitum chopped oat hay, and the cows also had 8 h/d grazing on a ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) pasture. During the performance trial, cow milk yield was daily recorded and individual milk samples were analysed for milk composition and to determine milk renneting properties. Cows fed the intermediate premix level (C-2.5) in diet showed the highest fat-corrected milk production (p<0.05) compared to other groups. None of the milk quality parameters studied were influenced by dietary treatment, except for milk rheological parameters (rennet clotting time and curd firmness) that were positively improved in cows fed the C-2.5 diet (p<0.05). The findings from this study show that intermediate level of vitamin-trace elements premix in concentrate can be advantageously used in grazing dairy cows without negative effects on yield and quality of milk produced.


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