Herbage utilisation method affects rumen fluid and milk fatty acid profile in Holstein and Montbéliarde cows.

TitleHerbage utilisation method affects rumen fluid and milk fatty acid profile in Holstein and Montbéliarde cows.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsManzocchi, E, Ferlay, A, Farizon, Y, Enjalbert, F, Bouchon, M, Giller, K, Kreuzer, M, Berard, J, Martin, B, Coppa, M
Date Published2022 Oct 31

Compared with maize silage- and concentrate-based diets, herbage-based diets were repeatedly shown to favourably influence the milk fatty acid (FA) profile. However, it is unclear how the herbage feeding mode (grazing vs indoor green-feeding) and conservation (fresh herbage vs hay vs silage) modify the milk FA profile. Therefore, the aim of the present experiment was to investigate the effect of different herbage utilisation methods (including herbage feeding mode and herbage conservation method) on the ruminal biohydrogenation of dietary FA and the consequences on the milk FA composition in cows of two breeds (Holstein and Montbéliarde). Concomitant effects of botanical composition and phenological stage of the herbage on milk FA profile were controlled for by harvesting barn-dried hay and silage simultaneously as first cut from the same ryegrass-dominated grassland in a semi-mountainous region. Seven weeks later, the first regrowth of the same plot was used as fresh herbage, either grazed or fed indoor (indoor green-feeding). Twenty-four Montbéliarde and 24 Holstein cows were randomly allocated to four groups of 12 cows balanced by breed, parity, and milk yield. In a free-stall barn, three groups were given ad libitum access to hay, silage, or fresh herbage, respectively. The fourth group was strip-grazing. All cows were supplemented with 3 kg DM/day of the same energy-rich concentrate. After 2 weeks of adaptation to the forage, samples of forage, concentrate, milk, blood, and rumen fluid were collected. Fatty acid composition of forages, rumen fluid, and milk was analysed by gas chromatography. Haymaking reduced total FA content of the herbage, in particular that of linoleic acid (LA) and α-linolenic acid (ALA). Still, rumen fluid lipids of hay-fed cows had the highest proportion of rumenic acid, LA, ALA, and total polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Milk fat from hay-fed cows had the highest proportion of LA, and the apparent transfer rates from feed to milk of LA and ALA were higher in hay-fed cows than in silage-fed cows. The proportion of PUFAs was highest in milk fat from grazing and indoor green-fed Montbéliarde cows and lowest in silage-fed cows of both breeds. In conclusion, the herbage utilisation method affects the ruminal biohydrogenation of LA and ALA, whereby herbage drying particularly increases their transfer from herbage to milk.

Alternate JournalAnimal
PubMed ID36434984