Swiss Federal Research Station for Animal Production, Posieux

Rape-, lin-, and sunflowerseed in dairy cows rations

In the investigation, 3 groups of 11 dairy cows were included. All animals were fed hay ad libitum, 15 kg fodder beet and concentrate feed. In the first experimental period, the daily ration was supplemented with 1,0 kg ground rapeseed, sunflowerseed or linseed respectively. In the second period, the quantity of sunflowerseed and linseed was increased to 1,5 kg. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of oilseed supplementation on feed intake, milk yield and milk quality.Cows fed linseed tended to have lower hay intake. The milk yield and milk protein content were not affected by the different oilseeds. Although not reaching significance, the sunflowerseeds caused a slight reduction in the milk fat content when the daily intake was increased from 1,0 to 1,5 kg. Supplementation of the basic diet with oilseeds led to an improvement of the milk quality from a nutritional and technological point of view. Especially sunflowerseed not only increased the ratio of the sum of C18:1 to palmitic acid (C16:0) well above the limit of 0,8 and therefore improved the quality of the model-cheeses, but also increased the concentration of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The highest content in ω3 FA in milk fat was, however, obtained with linseed supplementation. In addition we have shown that the changes in milk fat composition are highly dependent of the total fat intake and the composition of the fatty acids in the diet.

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