Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux Research Station ALP, rte de la Tioleyre 4, 1725 Posieux

Dairy cow feeding and folic acid in milk

A trial with 36 dairy cows in mid-lactation allotted to 3 groups was carried with the aim to evaluate the possibility of increasing the concentration of folic acid in milk by feeding rations naturally rich in folic acid. This experimental ration contained brewery waste, cubes of alfalfa, brewers’ yeast and wheat germ in addition to the hay and beet given to all of the cows. Over the 4 week experimental period, the control group (T) received the standard ration, the AFO-S group received an added 2 g of synthetic folic acid per cow per day and the AFO-N group received the experimental ration. Neither the addition of synthetic folic acid, nor the AFO-N ration led to a significant increase in the concentration of total folates in milk. However, there was an increase in the concentration of tetrahydrofolate in the milk of the AFO-N group after four weeks. This same ration also brought about an increase in daily ingestion by more than 1 kg dry matter and an increase in milk production by more than 2 kg.

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