Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux, Swiss Federal Research Station for Animal Production and Dairy Products (ALP), CH-1725 Posieux

Sunflowered fed in addition to grass and influence on milk fat composition

In a trial with 3 variants of 6 dairy cows each, different quantities of a sunflowerseed-bran-mixture (0, 2 and 3 kg) were fed in addition to grass. The aim of the study was to examine the influence of sunflowerseed to the milk fat composition. Sunflowerseed is characterised by a high portion of linoleic acid (C18:2). In the variant with 3 kg not all cows ate the whole quantity. The feed intake of grass and also the total feed intake decreased in the tendency with increasing quantity of sunflowerseed. The differences were not significant. The milk production between the three variants was similar and continuously decreased with the age of the grass. Without sunflowerseed the fat content in the milk increased during the trial, with the supplementation of sunflowerseed it decreased. Because of the sunflowerseed the portion of the saturated fatty acids in the milk increased significantly and the portion of unsaturated fatty acids significantly decreased. Furthermore, the sunflowerseed led also to a significant rise of the Omega-6 fatty acid and to a tendentious increase of the conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). The Omega-3 fatty acid was partially significantly reduced by the sunflowerseed. In addition, the results showed that the Omega-3 fatty acid and the CLA contents decreased with increasing age of the grass.

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