Domestic animals, including ruminants, can synthesize vitamin C VC in their liver; as such, the dietary requirement for VC has not been confirmed in these animals. The adequacy of VC has been evaluated by quantifying VC levels in plasma, but the reported values in bovine plasma have been widely variable. Plasma VC concentration is decreased by heat stress, hepatic lesions, fattening, and infectious diseases such as mastitis in cattle. Therefore, VC supplementation is potentially beneficial for cattle with low plasma VC concentration. This review discusses the methods for determination of plasma VC concentration in cattle, VC nutrition, and the efficacy of VC supplementation in calves, dairy cattle, and beef cattle.
LaCount, J. As an effective scavenger of reactive oxygen species, ascorbic acid minimizes the oxidative stress associated with the respiratory burst of activated phagocytic leukocytes, thereby aclves to control the inflammation and tissue damage associated with immune responses Chien et al. Bacteria in colostrum also can interfere with IgG absorption. Interest in feeding larger amounts of liquid feeds has increased, and with higher feeding rates and proper care calves can grow faster without increased rates of nutritional scours. Thus, VC supplementation may not be useful for fattening Feeding vitamin c to dairy calves with relatively high plasma VC concentrations. It is important to pay close attention to the feeding instructions for these milk replacers. Limited data are available showing positive responses when peripartum Nude picture sofia vergara are fed vitamin E at rates above NRC. Young calves supplemented with vitamin Dakry have experienced improved health as reflected by decreased naval infections, peritonitis, pneumonia, Fweding, respiration disease, scouring and mortality Cummins and Brunner, ; McDowell,
Tavor assault riffle. The Digestive System
Thus, plasma AsA and VC concentrations should be determined immediately after blood collection. Provide vitamin A supplements if your calf shows signs of a Feeding vitamin c to dairy calves. It would appear to be extremely difficult to produce vitamin C toxicity from dietary sources in ruminants, due to the apparent rumen Feeding vitamin c to dairy calves of Threesomes free sample vitamin. Vitamins and trace minerals are necessary to optimize health and growth, particularly in young animals, and NRC requirements are only designed to meet minimum requirements of a healthy Bible quotes on masturbation gaining just two-thirds of a pound daily. If you see bubbles come out of its nose or hear the calf cough, stop the feeding immediately. Interestingly, cows dosed with vitamin C via the abomasums had only slightly higher plasma vitamin C levels than cows dosed orally. It is produced in the breasts before the actual milk comes in and is filled with healthy vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and disease-fighting antibodies. The protective effects of vitamin C also vitamin E on health may partially be a result of reducing circulating levels of glucocorticoids Nockels, Fat sources usually contain some coconut oil and major contributions from tallow, choice white grease, or lard. In its metabolism, daigy acid is converted to dehydroascorbate by enzymatic or nonenzymatic means and can be enzymatically reduced back to ascorbic Feeding vitamin c to dairy calves in cells in a glutathione-dependent reaction Johnson et al. Hay consumption may adiry impede rumen development, because hay is less fermentable than concentrate.
Vitamins are organic compounds needed in minute amounts that are essential for life and must be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.
- Domestic animals, including ruminants, can synthesize vitamin C VC in their liver; as such, the dietary requirement for VC has not been confirmed in these animals.
- To assure adequate passive transfer of antibodies, all calves should receive at least 2 L of high-quality colostrum within 6 hr of birth.
- Nature designed whole milk as food for baby calves.
- Bottle feeding calves is a common practice that ensures the animals receive proper nutrition.
Although in nature, ascorbic acid is the predominant form, both forms are biologically active. The L-isomer of ascorbic acid is biologically active, while the D-isomer is not.
In biological systems, L-ascorbic acid can be reversibly oxidized to dehydro-L-ascorbic acid. Dehydroascorbic acid is irreversibly oxidized to the inactive diketogulonic acid. Since this change takes place readily, vitamin C is very susceptible to destruction by oxidation, which is accelerated by heat and light.
Vitamin C is a white to yellow crystalline powder. It crystallizes out of water as square or oblong crystals Illus.
Vitamin C is structurally similar to glucose. Vitamin C is efficiently absorbed in a manner similar to monosaccharides. Absorption occurs by both a sodium-dependent, active transport system at low concentrations and by diffusion at higher concentrations Tsukaguchi et al. Site of absorption in the guinea pig is in the duodenal and proximal small intestine, whereas the rat showed highest absorption in the ileum Hornig et al. High levels of dietary iron, zinc, copper and pectin reduce the utilization of ascorbic acid, either by direct oxidation of vitamin C or by reducing its absorption Sauberlich, Considerable quantities of ascorbic acid are secreted into the gastrointestinal tract and then re-absorbed as dehydroascorbate Dabrowski, Endogenous production of vitamin C is dependent on the presence or absence of the liver microsomal enzyme L-gluconolactone oxidase, which imparts the ability to synthesize ascorbic acid from monosaccharides Lehninger, Humans, other primates, guinea pigs, invertebrates, some insects, fish, bats and birds lack this enzyme and cannot synthesize vitamin C Sauberlich, Ruminants synthesize vitamin C.
A second important feature of vitamin C metabolism is the interconversion of L-ascorbic acid and dehydro-L-ascorbic acid. In its metabolism, ascorbic acid is converted to dehydroascorbate by enzymatic or nonenzymatic means and can be enzymatically reduced back to ascorbic acid in cells in a glutathione-dependent reaction Johnson et al. Dehydroascorbic acid is the preferred form of vitamin C for uptake by erythrocytes, lymphocytes and neutrophils Sauberlich, Recycling between dehydroascorbate and ascorbate is a prominent feature of vitamin C metabolism in erythrocytes and white blood cells, and appears to aid in maintaining antioxidant reserves Mendiratta et al.
The selenium enzyme glutathione peroxidase is involved in the regeneration of ascorbic acid from dehydroascorbic acid in bovine erythrocytes Washburn and Wells, Ascorbic acid is also stabilized by the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase and catalase Miyake et al.
Ascorbic acid is widely distributed throughout the tissues. The highest concentrations are found in the adrenal glands, pituitary gland, pancreas, spleen and white blood cells, quantitatively the largest pools of vitamin C are found in skeletal muscle, the lungs, brain and liver Sauberlich, Vitamin C tends to be concentrated in tissues during wound healing.
In calves the major reservoirs of ascorbic acid are in the lungs, liver and muscle tissue Toutain et al. Ascorbic acid is metabolized to 2,3-diketogulonic acid and oxalate and excreted in the urine Sauberlich, When vitamin C intake far exceeds requirements, ascorbic acid is excreted in urine unchanged Sauberlich, Urinary excretion of vitamin C depends on vitamin C status and renal function.
The primary enzymatic role of ascorbic acid in metabolism is that of a reducing agent for hydroxylation reactions Sauberlich, Synthesis of collagen and other connective tissue involves several of these reactions Table The other major role of vitamin C is that of water-soluble antioxidant, where its function is linked to that of the antioxidant enzymes, such as glutathione peroxidase, and to vitamin E.
Vitamin C has a clearly established role in collagen biosynthesis, the lack of which leads to the symptoms of scurvy. Impairment of collagen synthesis in basement membranes and subsequent reduction in the integrity of the mucosal epithelium may explain the capillary fragility and increased incidence of periodontal disease observed in vitamin C deficiency Chatterjee, Failure of wound healing, gum lesions and abnormal bone development are other symptoms of vitamin C deficiency that are linked to impaired collagen synthesis.
Biochemical functions of vitamin C have been reviewed Sauberlich, ; Johnston, ; Johnston et al. Aside from its role in collagen synthesis and wound healing, some important known functions of vitamin C are:.
Of these functions, those with antioxidant properties are of great interest to researchers. The antioxidant role of vitamin C appears to be a common link in its role in the function and integrity of various cell types in the body, in detoxification functions and in the normal functioning of the adrenal glands, lungs, brain, eye and immune system.
In keratinocytes, vitamin C contributes to counteract oxidative stress via transcriptional and post-translational mechanisms. Vitamin C can: 1 act directly by scavenging reactive oxygen species ROS generated by stressors; 2 prevent ROS-mediated cell damage by modulating gene expression; 3 regulate keratinocyte differentiation maintaining a balanced redox state; and 4 promote cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in response to DNA damage Cantani et al.
The metabolic need for ascorbic acid is a general one among species, but a dietary need is limited to humans, subhuman primates, guinea pigs, fruit-eating bats, some birds including the red-vented bulbul and related Passeriformes species , insects, fish such as coho salmon, rainbow trout, and carp , and perhaps certain reptiles McDowell, Under normal conditions, ruminants can synthesize vitamin C within their body.
Vitamin C is involved in controlling synthesis of glucocorticoids corticosteroids in the adrenal gland. The protective effects of vitamin C also vitamin E on health may partially be a result of reducing circulating levels of glucocorticoids Nockels, During stress, glucocorticoids, which suppress the immune response, are elevated. Vitamin C reduces adrenal glucocorticoid synthesis, helping to maintain immunocompetence.
In addition, ascorbate can regenerate the reduced form of alpha-tocopherol, perhaps accounting for observed sparing effects of these vitamins Jacob, In the process of sparing fatty acid oxidation, tocopherol is oxidized to the tocopheryl free radical. Ascorbic acid can donate an electron to the tocopheryl free radical, regenerating the reduced antioxidant form of tocopherol.
Ascorbic acid is found in up to a ten-fold concentration in seminal fluid as compared to serum levels. Decreasing levels have caused nonspecific sperm agglutination. In a review of ascorbic acid and fertility, Luck et al. Ascorbic acid has a role in metal ion metabolism due to its reducing and chelating properties. It can result in enhanced absorption of minerals from the diet and their mobilization and distribution throughout the body. Ascorbic acid promotes non-heme iron absorption from food Olivares et al.
Vitamin C has a biological role in keratinocytes. Because skin must provide the first line of defense against environmental free radical attack e.
The epidermis is composed of several layers of keratinocytes supplied with enzymes superoxide dismutase, catalase, thieoredoxin reductase, and glutathione reductase and low-molecular-weight antioxidant molecules tocopherol, glutathione, and ascorbic acid , Podda and Grundmann-Kollmann, Extensive recycling of vitamin C occurs in neutrophils, monocytes and macrophages May et al. Vitamin C deficiency impairs the bactericidal activity of neutrophils Goldschmidt, Chronic, low-grade skin infections in humans have been shown to respond to vitamin C supplementation Levy et al.
Ascorbic acid enhances macrophage production of nitric oxide, which is involved in bactericidal reactions Mizutani et al. Supplementation with both vitamin C and E potentiates white blood cell function in healthy adults Jeng et al. Tissue defense mechanisms against free-radical damage generally include vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene as the major vitamin antioxidant sources.
In addition, several metalloenzymes that include glutathione peroxidase selenium , catalase iron , and superoxide dismutase copper, zinc and manganese are also critical in protecting the internal cellular constituents from oxidative damage.
The dietary and tissue balance of all these nutrients are important in protecting tissue against free radical damage. Both in vitro and in vivo studies showed that the antioxidant vitamins generally enhance different aspects of cellular and noncellular immunity. The antioxidant function of these vitamins could, at least in part, enhance immunity by maintaining the functional and structural integrity of important immune cells.
A compromised immune system will result in reduced animal production efficiency through increased susceptibility to diseases, thereby leading to increased animal morbidity and mortality.
As an effective scavenger of reactive oxygen species, ascorbic acid minimizes the oxidative stress associated with the respiratory burst of activated phagocytic leukocytes, thereby functioning to control the inflammation and tissue damage associated with immune responses Chien et al.
Ascorbic acid levels are very high in phagocytic cells with these cells using free radicals and other highly reactive oxygen containing molecules to help kill pathogens that invade the body. In the process, however, cells and tissues may be damaged by these reactive species.
Ascorbic acid helps to protect these cells from oxidative damage McDowell, Vitamin C has an antihistamine effect Johnston and Huang, ; Johnston et al. In related findings, vitamin C has been shown to attenuate the damaging effects of bacterial Escherichia coli endotoxin on the lungs of sheep Dwenger et al. Vitamin C has also been shown to impart protection against E. High concentrations of endotoxin inhibit uptake of vitamin C by the adrenal cortical cells Garcia and Municio, In ruminants, limited evidence exists on the effect of vitamin C on immune function.
Researchers at Auburn University reported both positive effects Blair and Cummins, Figure and no effect Cummins and Brunner, on plasma immunoglobulin concentration of colostrum-deprived dairy calves. Hidiroglou et al. However, the same authors reported a trend for increased immunoglobulin M IgM in plasma when calves received both vitamin C and vitamin E. Roth and Kaeberle reported that parenteral ascorbic acid 20 mg per kg or 9. Ascorbic acid supplementation reduced respiratory rate, rectal temperature and serum cortisol level and increased serum thyroid hormone T4 in heat-stressed lambs Kobeisy et al.
Given these limited data, it would appear that the role of supplemental vitamin C in ruminants deserves further study. A key aspect of vitamin C metabolism is its interaction with vitamin E. Vitamin C has been shown to partially reverse the effects of vitamin E deficiency in rats Chen and Thacker, Vitamins C and E exert a sparing effect on each other in terms of controlling oxidative load Tanaka et al.
Vitamin C is also stabilized by the antioxidant enzymes glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and catalase Miyake et al.
Vitamin C has been shown to actively regenerate vitamin E from its oxidized state to its reduced state, and reduce the accumulation of the oxidized metabolite alpha-tocopherolquinone Halpner et al. This interaction between the water-soluble ascorbic acid and lipid-soluble alpha-tocopherol antioxidant vitamins provides a strong network for protecting cell components and is nutritionally important.
Other effects of vitamin C include induction of the gluconeogenic liver enzyme phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase Maggini and Walter, , and a repair function for DNA damaged by oxidation Cooke, A wide variety of plant and animal species synthesize vitamin C from monosaccharides, including glucose and galactose.
Domestic livestock including ruminants have the ability to biosynthesize vitamin C, although young ruminants may not produce adequate endogenous ascorbic acid until four months of age. Plasma concentrations of ascorbic acid were lower in calves and growing steers reared under stressful conditions i. It has been suggested that calves less than four months of age may have a marginal vitamin C deficiency and that this deficiency may affect disease resistance early in life Wegger and Moustgaard, A study with radio-labeled ascorbic acid was able to detect synthesis of vitamin C by seven days of age in calves Toutain et al.
The specific activity of gycerolphosphate dehydrogenase GPDH was used as a biochemical index of differentiation. Studies of blood vitamin C concentrations in calves fed a common diet revealed large individual differences, with variations related to genetic background Palludan and Wegger, Warnings Feeding your calf only milk or formula for too long without introducing grains can result in vitamin deficiencies. Animal handling 5 View Categories. Whole milk may seem cheaper because it is not a cash expense. Fresh water and alfalfa should still be provided, as well as the salt lick.
Feeding vitamin c to dairy calves. NEWS & VIDEOS
Early introduction of solid feed is important for replacement calf rearing. Solid feed stimulates rumen development. Calves are born with small, nonfunctional rumens, and rapid rumen development is critical for early weaning. Rumen maturation is stimulated by the presence of fermentation products, particularly butyric acid. Thus, introduction of highly fermentable substrate into the diet is important to rumen development.
Calves should not be fed hay before weaning. Hay consumption may actually impede rumen development, because hay is less fermentable than concentrate. A critical factor in stimulating starter consumption is the availability of fresh water.
Calves should have readily available fresh water. Maintenance energy requirements increase as temperatures fall below these values.
The dry powder should be reconstituted with proportionate increases in the amount of water. In addition to milk or milk replacer, fresh water should be made available at least twice per day. Electrolyte solutions administered orally can be beneficial in supporting hydration and successfully treating calves with diarrhea.
To help control and correct dehydration, it may be necessary to reduce milk or milk replacer feeding for a brief period after the onset of diarrhea. Nutritionally, however, the objective is for calves being treated for diarrhea to be back receiving milk or milk replacer as soon as possible.
With appropriate use of oral electrolytes, milk or milk replacer feeding should be reinstituted within 12—24 hr after the onset of diarrhea. Electrolyte solutions can be fed along with milk or milk replacer. Supporting the calf with adequate nutrition speeds restoration of the gut epithelium and generally improves calf health and immunity. From developing new therapies that treat and prevent disease to helping people in need, we are committed to improving health and well-being around the world.
The Veterinary Manual was first published in as a service to the community. The legacy of this great resource continues in the online and mobile app versions today. Common Veterinary Topics. Videos Figures Images Quizzes. By providing enough milk or milk replacement formula daily, slowly introducing grains, preventing vitamin deficiencies, and properly weaning, your calves can grow strong and healthy through bottle feeding.
Categories: Feeding and Grazing Cattle. Learn why people trust wikiHow. There are 35 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
Method 1. Purchase or gather the appropriate feeding supplies. You'll need a two quart calf bottle with nipple and raw cow's milk or a bovine milk replacement formula, and possibly colostrum. A turkey baster or syringe can be used to introduce the calf to the milk or formula if it doesn't take the bottle initially. Squirting the milk or formula directly into the calf's mouth using the baster or syringe will help the calf realize you are feeding it.
You can then try offering the bottle again The hole on the end of the nipple should be big enough that the calf can easily nurse from the bottle, but not so big that it drinks too fast and aspirates. Clean the calf bottle and nipple before first use and after every feeding. Whether you are using a newly purchased calf bottle or one that was previously used to feed another calf, you'll need to thoroughly clean the bottle before using.
The bottle will need to be washed again after every feeding. To prepare for washing, remove the nipple from the bottle. Rinse the bottle and nipple to remove any surface dirt and milk or formula.
Wash the bottle and nipple with hot water and your preferred soap or cleaning detergent. Use a brush to thoroughly wash the inside of the bottle. When washing the nipple, check for tears or cracks. If you notice such flaws, discard the nipple and use a new one.
Cracked or torn nipples are hiding places for bacteria that can make your calf sick. Allow the bottle and nipple to fully air dry before the next use. Try setting the bottle upside down on a rack so that any remaining water can fully drain off. Feed your calf colostrum during its first 24 hours of life. Colostrum is important for all mammals at birth.
It is produced in the breasts before the actual milk comes in and is filled with healthy vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and disease-fighting antibodies. Calves can obtain colostrum by nursing directly from the mother cow during the first 24 hours after birth.
However, that is not always possible, particularly if the mother is used as a milk cow. Stir the mixture into a quart of warm water. Give this homemade colostrum replacement to the calf in a bottle during its first two feedings.
Prepare a bottle of bovine milk replacement formula if not using milk. The formula is made by mixing a scoop of dry formula with warm water. Refer to the formula package directions to determine the exact amounts of dry formula and water to mix together for one quart of liquid. Instructions might vary slightly between formula types. Keep in mind that calves under 3 weeks shouldn't have non-milk proteins.
Give your calf one quart of formula or milk for the first few weeks, after which time you will up the amount to two quarts. Just fill up the bottle with milk and feed the calf.
Alternatives to commercial formula include dried whey protein concentrate, dried skim milk, soy protein concentrate, and modified wheat protein. Give your calf the bottle of formula or milk. Place the nipple of the bottle on the calf's mouth until it opens up and begins drinking. You will need to hold the bottle the entire time while the calf is drinking.
You can stand directly in the calf's enclosure when bottle feeding or simply offer the bottle through the fence. It is sometimes easier to stand next to the calf the first few times until it is used to the bottle. Once the calf is used to it, you can switch to feeding through the fence.
If your calf refuses the bottle at first, you can try introducing the formula or milk by using a syringe or turkey baster. Either method will allow you to squirt the liquid directly into the calf's mouth. You can then try offering the bottle again once the calf knows to expect nourishment.
Feed your calf one quart of milk or formula in the bottle times per day for the first two weeks. Some calf owners bottle feed their calves just twice a day; others prefer to do so three times daily. Give your calf two quarts of milk or formula in the bottle twice a day after the first two weeks. Continue feeding the calf two quarts at a time twice a day until the calf is four months old. At four months the calf should mainly be eating solid foods and be ready to wean from the bottle.
Raise two bottle fed calves together, if possible. Cows are herd animals and do best when not alone. If you only have one calf and no other cows, sheep, goats, and even horses can make good companions for your calf. If raising two calves simultaneously, you can easily feed them both at the same time by holding one bottle in each hand. Check for aspiration. Aspiration is when foreign bodies or liquids are breathed into the airway.
Normally, your calf should drink slowly and steadily. If you see bubbles come out of its nose or hear the calf cough, stop the feeding immediately. The calf might be drinking too fast and inhaling milk into its airway. Give the animal frequent breaks to breathe and swallow. Method 2. Feed your calf only high quality milk replacement formula and grains. Feeding your calf high quality food is the best way to prevent vitamin deficiencies.
Provide vitamin A supplements if your calf shows signs of a deficiency. Consult a vet who treats cows and calves before starting any treatment. To correct a vitamin A deficiency, administer a shot of vitamin A or add powdered vitamins to its bottle.
Grains that have gotten wet or moldy lose some of their vitamin content and might not offer enough nutrition.
Update on Vitamin Nutrition of Dairy Cows – DAIReXNET
Vitamins are organic compounds needed in minute amounts that are essential for life and must be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Either the vitamin must be in the diet dietary essential or be synthesized by microorganisms in the digestive system and absorbed by the host animal. Currently there are 14 recognized vitamins, but not all animals require all 14 vitamins Table 1. When an animal absorbs an inadequate quantity of a particular vitamin, various responses are observed depending on the vitamin and the degree and duration of deficiency.
For example, rickets and scurvy result from a clinical deficiency of vitamin D and vitamin C, respectively. Unthriftiness reduced growth rate, milk production, or fertility and increased prevalence of infectious diseases can be observed when animals absorb inadequate amounts of vitamins.
Of the 14 known vitamins, only two vitamins A and E have absolute dietary requirements for dairy cows. Those two vitamins or their precursors must be in the diet, or cows will become clinically deficient. Adequate vitamin D can be synthesized by skin cells when they are exposed to enough sunlight. The liver and kidney of the cow can synthesize vitamin C. The purpose of this paper is to discuss recent last 10 years research on vitamin nutrition of dairy cows. If recent data with ruminants are lacking, the vitamin is not discussed.
Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production. Some epidemiological data also suggest a link between vitamin A and mastitis LeBlanc et al. However and this is important , there are no data showing that supplementation of vitamin A at rates above the current NRC requirement has any positive effect on mammary gland health or reproductive efficiency; a possible exception is increased ovulation rate when cows are superovulated Shaw et al.
The current requirement for supplemental vitamin E is about 0. Fresh pasture usually contains very high concentrations of vitamin E, and little or no supplemental vitamin E is needed by grazing dairy cows.
Although the requirement was increased substantially compared with the NRC, newer data suggest that higher supplementation rates may be warranted in some situations.
In that study, cows were fed diets with only 0. A study from Italy Baldi et al. They also reported fewer services per conception for cows fed the higher amount of vitamin E, but the number of cows in that study was low, and treatment effects on reproductive measures may not be accurate.
In two large field studies Erskine et al. A dietary biotin requirement has not been established for dairy cows or any other ruminant. Less is known about biotin concentrations in forages.
Data from a very limited number of studies suggest that typical diets fed to lactating dairy cows contain between 0. Numerous clinical trials have been conducted to examine the effect of supplemental biotin on hoof horn lesions and lameness in dairy cows Table 2.
Although the response varied among experiments, all studies reported reduced prevalence of specific lesions or clinical lameness when biotin was supplemented. All studies involved long-term months supplementation. Potzsch et al. Midla et al. Six studies have been conducted that measured milk production responses to biotin supplementation Table 3.
Milk production response appears to occur shortly after supplementation begins. Niacin has also been evaluated for possible prophylactic and therapeutic effects on ketosis and fatty liver syndrome. Since the NRC was published, two additional studies were published, and one Drackley et al. In mid- and late lactation cows, niacin supplementation usually did not affect production. Based on this, niacin supplementation would likely be profitable if limited to early-lactation cows, but return on investment would decrease markedly if niacin was supplemented to the entire herd.
Research is extremely limited on the effects of supplementing B-vitamins other than biotin and niacin to dairy cows. Milk production was increased when cows were fed a mixture of B-vitamins biotin, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, B-6, riboflavin, thiamin, and B compared with cows not fed supplemental B-vitamins but was not different from a treatment in which only biotin was supplemented Majee et al.
When the amount of supplemental B-vitamins was doubled, intake and milk production were similar to control cows i. In three experiments, Shaver et al. In one experiment, yield of milk, milk fat, and milk protein increased when cows were fed mg of thiamin per day.
Milk yield by multiparous cows increased linearly as supplemental folic acid was increased from 0 to 1. Responses to folic acid may be caused by increased methionine status. Injections of riboflavin 2. However, as productivity of cows continues to increase and as new experiments are conducted, this conclusion may change.
Choline does not fit the definition of a vitamin. It is required in gram quantities not milligram or microgram quantities , and it is synthesized by the cow. Very little, if any, dietary choline with the exception of rumen-protected supplements is absorbed from the gut because it is degraded in the rumen. Vitamin C also is not considered a vitamin for dairy cows because the cow can synthesize ascorbic acid. The concentration of ascorbic acid is high in neutrophils and increases as much as fold when the neutrophil is stimulated.
Santos et al. Injecting cows that received an intramammary challenge of endotoxin with vitamin C 25 g IV at 3 and 5 hours post-challenge had limited positive effects on clinical signs Chaiyotwittayakun et al. We recently conducted an experiment to examine changes in ascorbic acid status following an intramammary challenge with E.
Large decreases in vitamin C status were statistically related to longer duration of clinical mastitis, and larger decreases in milk production following challenge were associated with larger decreases in vitamin C status Figure 2. Data from this experiment do not mean that increasing vitamin C status of cows will reduce the prevalence or severity of mastitis. We do not know whether lower vitamin C status allowed severity of mastitis to increase or whether increased severity depleted body vitamin C.
We know very little regarding vitamin flow out of the rumen and even less regarding efficiency of absorption of vitamins from the gastro-intestinal tract of cows. Undoubtedly, vitamin supply dietary and ruminal synthesis is affected by basal diet, dry matter intake, and numerous other factors, and the supply of vitamins from the basal diet will affect the response to vitamin supplementation. Without reliable data regarding vitamin supply from basal diets i.
For ration formulation purposes, knowing the true requirement for vitamins is not essential. The question that needs to be asked is: What vitamins should be supplemented and at what rates? Good animal husbandry requires that diets be formulated to provide enough vitamins to prevent clinical deficiencies. Following NRC guidelines i. Some unique situations may require special supplementation to prevent clinical signs for example, supplemental vitamin K should be provided when cows are fed moldy sweet clover hay.
The NRC guidelines should be the starting point when developing a vitamin nutrition program. Determining whether vitamins should be supplemented at rates exceeding NRC should be based on expected benefits compared with the expected costs. The effect of increased vitamin supplementation on feed costs can be determined easily. Few studies show marked effects on feed intake when vitamins are supplemented; therefore, the increased feed costs associated with vitamin supplementation is dependent on the price of the vitamins.
Excessive supplementation also may incur a cost by having negative effects on health and productivity true toxicity can also occur, but generally vitamin intakes have to be extremely high. For example, Majee et al. Benefits of supplementing vitamins in excess of NRC recommendations may include improved health, increased production, and improved reproduction. The economic return of these benefits usually is much greater than the impact of vitamin supplementation on feed costs.
Cows that are grazing probably can be fed substantially less supplemental vitamin A. Vitamin E: Data showing positive effects when vitamin E is supplemented to lactating dairy cows at rates exceeding NRC are not available. Limited data are available showing positive responses when peripartum cows are fed vitamin E at rates above NRC.
Cows consuming a substantial amount of fresh forage probably need little supplemental vitamin E. High-producing herds are likely to see an increase in milk production.
Choline supplementation may reduce the risk of ketosis and fatty liver in over-conditioned dry cows, and the use of choline is probably warranted in that situation. Little benefit would be expected when mid- and late-lactation cows are fed supplemental biotin. The use of supplemental niacin in herds that feed a single diet to all cows is unlikely to have a positive return on investment.
Other vitamins: At this time, insufficient data are available to recommend supplementation of other B-vitamins and vitamin C to dairy cows. Baldi, A. Savoini, L. Pinotti, E. Monfardini, F.
Cheli, and V. Effects of vitamin E and different energy sources on vitamin E status, milk quality and reproduction in transition cows. Bergsten, C. Greenough, J. Gay, W. Seymour, and C.
Effects of biotin supplementation on performance and claw lesions on a commercial dairy farm. Dairy Sci. Campbell, J. Greenough, and L. The effects of dietary biotin supplementation on vertical fissures of the claw wall in beef cattle. Chaiyotwittayakun, A. Erskine, P. Bartlett, T.