Improving energy supply to dairy cows with Bicar®Z
2013, Institute of Animal Nutrition, Kiel University (Futterkamp, Germany)
Subject: Dairy milk production improvement with concentrated feed and Bicar®Z
The aim of the trial was to study how much concentrated feed can be administered to high-yielding dairy cows and how much Bicar®Z needs to be supplemented to increase milk production without negatively affecting ruminal pH.
Conditions of the study: supplementation of Bicar®Z in concentrated feed
A study was conducted in 2013 on 72 Schleswig-Holstein dairy cows in Futterkamp (Germany).
Throughout the entire study period, all animals of Group 1 (Control Group) received a fixed daily ration consisting of concentrated feed (approximately 3 months).
In Group 2 (Trial Group), the amount of concentrated feed was increased and Bicar®Z was supplemented to compensate for a reduced amount of fibers. At various stages of the trial, the ration was modified several times.
The best results were observed in Group 2 where the animals’ milk yield increased. This accounts for a higher energy-rich feed intake and an optimal supplementation of Bicar®Z.
The animals of the Bicar®Z Group also gained weight and were less affected by laminitis or other illnesses.
Conclusions: what can you learn from this study?
The supplementation of 300 g of Bicar®Z, mixed into 2.3 kg of concentrated feed, was sufficient to maintain an optimal ruminal environment and the addition of 2.3 kg of concentrated feed in the trial led to an increase in output of up to 3.6 L of milk compared to the Control Group.
The trial clearly shows that dairy cows will do better if fed on a combination of more concentrated feed and Bicar®Z : energy balance, animal health and, consequently, milk production will improve.