Mycotoxin Risk Management for Dairy Cows

Mycotoxin Risk Management for Dairy Cows

The complex diet of ruminants, consisting of concentrates, forages and silages increases and diversifies the risk of mycotoxin exposure compared to swine and poultry. The main mycotoxins of interest in ruminants are aflatoxins, fumorisins, ochratoxins, zearalenone, trichothecenes, ergot alkaloids and patulin.

However, the detection of a mycotoxin issue (often called a ‘mycotoxicosis’) in ruminants is not always easy, as exposure to some mycotoxins gives non-specific symptoms. The effects are often chronic, with hidden disorders such as reduced ingestion, productivity and fertility.

However, there is a lack of clear information regarding mycotoxin effects on dairy cows. It could be linked with the very high costs of conducting comprehensive studies with various combination of mycotoxins at different levels, but also with the complexity to plan specific animals trials since there are many factors involved such as: type and level of mycotoxins ingested, the duration of the intoxication period and presence of masked mycotoxins. But also the diet, animal, environment and additives used have influence on how big the effect is on cow health.

Click here to read about the effects of some mycotoxins in dairy cows and how you can better manage the risks associated.

Tags: Mycotoxins