Milk Fat Recovery Rate After Ration-Related Changes

Milk Fat Recovery Rate After Ration-Related Changes
10/24/2017

Often milk fat depression is somehow linked to diet fermentability and polyunsaturated fat load. But one thing not discussed as often is the time line for recovery from a low milk fat situation.

Before diving into the time line for recovery from low milk fat, one needs to determine if the drop in milk fat is diet-induced or just a seasonal response. Every herd is different because of weather, forage changes and herd dynamics.

The ruminal biohydrogenation theory has become widely accepted to explain diet-induced milk fat depression. Simply put, this theory states the rumen biohydrogenates (transforms) the fatty acids found in forages, oil seeds, byproducts and fat supplements to get rid of double bonds and create more saturated fatty acids. Certain intermediate fatty acids resulting from this biohydrogenation process are what cause milk fat depression. The amount of unsaturated fat substrate available to the rumen bugs will dictate how quickly milk fat drops.

Knowing the root mechanism of milk fat depression helps explain the time line for recovery of milk fat.

Click here to read how to help correct a milk fat depression with a simple checklist that will help determine the root of the problem.

Article from Progressive Dairyman, September 2017

Tags: Rations