Effects of supplementing a Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation product during the periparturient period on performance of dairy cows fed fresh diets differing in starch content.


Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2P5. Electronic address: [Email]


The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of supplementing a Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation product (SCFP; NutriTek, Diamond V, Cedar Rapids, IA) during the periparturient period (d -28 ± 3 to 44 ± 3 relative to calving) on dry matter intake (DMI), milk production, apparent total-tract nutrient digestibility, and postpartum ovarian activity of dairy cows fed fresh diets varying in starch content. From d 28 ± 3 before the expected calving date until d 44 ± 3 after calving, 117 Holstein cows were fed diets with SCFP (SCFP; n = 59) or without (control, CON; n = 58). A common, basal, controlled-energy close-up diet (net energy for lactation: 1.43 Mcal/kg; 13.8% starch) was fed before calving. Cows within each treatment (CON or SCFP) were fed either a low- (LS; 22.1% starch) or high-starch (HS; 28.3% starch) diet from d 1 to 23 ± 3 after calving (fresh period), resulting in 4 treatment groups: LS-CON (n = 30), LS-SCFP (n = 29), HS-CON (n = 28), and HS-SCFP (n = 30). All cows were fed the HS diets from d 24 ± 3 to 44 ± 3 after calving (post-fresh period). Cows were assigned to treatment balanced for parity, body condition score, body weight, and expected calving date. Milk yield was higher for cows fed the LS diets compared with those fed the HS diets during the fresh period (34.1 vs. 32.1 kg/d), whereas DMI and 3.5% fat-corrected milk yield (FCM) were not affected by dietary starch content, and LS cows tended to lose more body condition than HS cows (-0.42 vs. -0.35 per 21 d) during the fresh period. Overall DMI during the close-up and fresh periods did not differ between SCFP and CON cows. However, SCFP supplementation transiently increased DMI on d 1 (13.0 vs. 11.9 kg/d) and 5 (15.5 vs. 14.1 kg/d) after calving compared with CON. During the post-fresh period, SCFP cows tended to eat less than CON cows (19.8 vs. 20.6 kg/d) but had similar 3.5% FCM (44.9 vs. 43.6 kg/d), resulting in greater feed efficiency for SCFP cows (FCM/DMI; 2.27 vs. 2.13). Neither starch content of fresh diets nor SCFP supplementation affected the interval from calving to first ovulation or the incidence of double ovulation. These findings suggest that feeding low-starch diets during the fresh period can increase milk production of dairy cows during the fresh period, and that supplementation of SCFP may increase feed intake around calving and feed efficiency in the post-fresh period.


Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation product,calving transition,dietary starch,ovulation,

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