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Effect of crude degummed canola oil and ad libitum grazing on plasma metabolites of primiparous Holstein-Friesian cows in a pasture-based system

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posted on 2023-05-18, 01:59 authored by John Otto, Malau-Aduli, BS, Balogun, RO, Nish, P, Malau-Aduli, AEO

Background: The supplementation of fat to lactating dairy cows has long been used as a management tool to increase dietary energy density for improving cow production, reproduction and to alleviate negative energy balance. Attempts have been made to investigate the effect of canola meal on plasma metabolites in lactating cows, but the results have been diverse and inconsistent. To our current knowledge, there is a dearth of published information on the utilization of Crude Degummed Canola Oil (CDCO) in pasture-based dairy systems. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the changes in plasma metabolite profiles of pasture-based, primiparous, Holstein-Friesian cows supplemented with varying dietary levels of CDCO for eight weeks. The study tested the hypothesis that feeding grazing primiparous Holstein-Friesian cows for eight weeks with incremental levels of CDCO supplement will decrease plasma non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and β-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA), but increase plasma cholesterol and glucose metabolites.

Results: Twenty lactating primiparous Holstein-Friesian cows 40 days in milk were randomly allotted into four treatment groups that consisted of a wheat-based, pelleted basal diet with no supplemental CDCO (control), basal diet with CDCO added at 25 ml/kgDM (DM; dry matter) (low), 35 ml/kgDM (medium) and 50 ml/kgDM (high) in an eight-week feeding trial, after two weeks of adjustment. Treatment influenced BHBA but had no effect on plasma NEFA, cholesterol and glucose metabolite profiles (P > 0.05). However, week of supplementation had a significant effect (P < 0.05) on BHBA, NEFA and glucose concentrations.

Conclusions: We concluded that with the exception of BHBA, CDCO at current levels of supplementation does not alter the plasma metabolite profiles of grazing primiparous cows. The lack of significant differences across treatments seems to indicate that higher levels of CDCO than the current levels used in this study, are probably needed. Furthermore, the duration of supplementation with CDCO had a greater impact on plasma metabolites than the levels of supplementation. Our findings also suggest that primiparous cows grazing high quality pastures during spring have sufficient energy intakes to prevent negative energy balance at 40 days in milk without the need for added fat supplements.


Publication title

BMC Veterinary Research



Article number









Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)


BioMed Central Ltd

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Dairy cattle

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