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Should we feed supplemental fatty acids to early lactation dairy cows: Does the fatty acid profile of the supplement matter?

Grant number: 18/08016-7
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2018
Effective date (End): September 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Animal Husbandry - Animal Nutrition and Feeding
Principal Investigator:Flávio Augusto Portela Santos
Grantee:José Maurício dos Santos Neto
Supervisor abroad: Adam Leslie Lock
Home Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Michigan State University (MSU), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:17/01468-7 - Supplementation with calcium salt levels of palm oil in tropical grazing dairy cows., BP.DR


Early-lactation cows usually enter a period of negative energy balance and fatty acid (FA) supplementation is a strategy that may increase energy intake and performance of these cows. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of reports in the published literature that have determined the effect of FA supplementation on early-lactation dairy cows. Importantly, we know of no reports in the published literature that have undertaken direct comparisons of individual FA supplements to early-lactation cows. This limits the data available for commercial nutritionists and dairy farmers to choose whether supplemental FA should be used and which might be the best combination of FA for early lactation cows. Our objective is to determine the effects of supplemental FA on the yield of milk and milk components, body weight change, nutrient digestibility, energy intake, energy balance, and feed efficiency of early lactation cows. Our proposed study addresses two important practical questions: 1) Does feeding supplemental FA impact dairy cow performance and metabolism during early-lactation? 2) Does the FA profile of the supplemental matter to early-lactation cows? During the internship abroad, the student will participate in the conduction of the related experiment, and will watch classes of the graduate program from Animal Science Department. Together with his supervisor at Michigan State University, the student will work on his data, so that at the end of the internship abroad will have written and submitted scientific papers, contributing to visibility and impact of the Brazilian science.