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Conference paper2012Peer reviewed

Effects on vitamin status and health in dairy cows fed without synthetic viatmins

Johansson, Birgitta; Persson Waller, Karin; Jensen, S.K.; Lindqvist, Hanna; Nadeau, Elisabet


Synthetic vitamin supplementation is not consistent with organic production and it is important to investigate how dairy cows manage without synthetic vitamin supplementation. The study aimed to compare the performance of cows given no synthetic vitamins (NSV) with cows (control; C) fed synthetic vitamins according to Swedish recommendations. Swedish Holstein cows (n=28) fed a 100 % organic diet were studied during two lactations. Vitamin status in cow plasma and milk, milk yield and composition, health and fertility were measured. From each cow, five blood and five milk samples were collected during lactation. In first lactation, C cows tended to have a higher concentration of α-tocopherol and their β-carotene concentration was higher compared to NSV cows. The C cows tended to have fewer cases of mastitis than NSV cows in the second lactation. No differences were found in production and fertility. In conclusion, dairy cows need vitamin A and E supplement, at least around calving when the requirements are high.


α-tocopherol, β-carotene, retinol, organic milk production, dairy cow

Published in

Landbauforschung Völkenrode. Sonderheft
2012, Volume: 362, pages: 394-397 Title: Proc. on the 2nd Organic Animal Husbandry Conference "Tackling the future challenges of organic animal husbandry"
ISBN: 978-3-86576-094-4
Publisher: Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut


2nd Organic Animal Husbandry Conference on Tackling the Future Challenges of Organic Animal Hosbandry, SEP 12-14, 2012, Hamburg, GERMANY