Managing Milk Fat Through Nutrition: Forages, Fatty Acids, Fat Supplements and More

Milk volume is only one aspect of dairy production — the level of individual components in the milk matter just as much. Managing butterfat is often a challenge, as high producing genetic lines tend to have lower butterfat milk.

RealAgriculture.com asked Adam Lock, assistant professor, dairy cattle nutrition with Michigan State University, for his perspective on managing milk fat, based on his presentation at this year’s Canadian Western Dairy Seminar. In this video, Lock explains the important interaction between unsaturated fatty acids and bacteria in the gut, why rations could lead to the production of potent inhibitors to milk fat formation and how the fermentability of starches can impact rumen pH. What’s more, Lock offers tips on how to avoid the hiccups that one-energy-source rations can cause. He also says it’s time to take a very critical look at fat supplements, to make sure the form and effect on feed intake is factored in to the decisions to feed these products. Not all supplements are created equal.

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