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Electronic Journal of Polish Agricultural Universities (EJPAU) founded by all Polish Agriculture Universities presents original papers and review articles relevant to all aspects of agricultural sciences. It is target for persons working both in science and industry,regulatory agencies or teaching in agricultural sector. Covered by IFIS Publishing (Food Science and Technology Abstracts), ELSEVIER Science - Food Science and Technology Program, CAS USA (Chemical Abstracts), CABI Publishing UK and ALPSP (Association of Learned and Professional Society Publisher - full membership). Presented in the Master List of Thomson ISI.

Volume 12
Issue 4
Topic:
ELECTRONIC
JOURNAL OF
POLISH
AGRICULTURAL
UNIVERSITIES
. , EJPAU 12(4), #18.
Available Online: http://www.ejpau.media.pl/volume12/issue4/art-18.html


 

ABSTRACT

In dairy herds lameness caused by foot diseases, especially lameness are a big economical and health problem. After infertility and mastitis, lameness is placed on third position among main causes of economic losses in milk production in Poland. Improper housing conditions and nutritional deficiencies are the main reasons of the problem. The aim of this study was the estimation of the biotin and Zn-methionine feed additives on feet health in first and second trimester of lactation. The study was conducted in three groups of cattle, 30 animals each. Cows in group I – control group, were fed with average ford used on the farm, cows in group II – had added biotin in 10 mg/d/cow, cows in group III – had added biotin in 10 mg/d/cow and Zn-methionine in 5 g/d/cow. At the beginning and the end of the experiment reproduction indexes and feet health were assessed. Our results show better feet health in cows supplemented with biotin or/and Zn-methionine, although the best result had cows supplemented with both together. biotin and Zn-methionine supplementation favourably affected reproductive indexes in treated cows. The results justify using these food supplements in feet disorders in dairy cows.

Key words: .

INTRODUCTION

Feet and especially hoofs disorders are one of the serious and often health problem in dairy cow production. Lameness, with infertility and mastitis are the most common reasons of culling cows in dairy farms, it also unfavourably affects milk production and reproduction which leads to economic loses.

During periparturient period lameness consist of over 18% lower fertility rates and 14 days longer time between pregnancies [4,8,16,25]. Cows with lameness occurring 3 days before or 21 days after insemination have very low fertility rates [18], and cows with mobility problems get pregnant 4.2 times less after first insemination.

Typical lameness is a symptom and result of digital disorders: feet and pad ulcers, laminitis, interdigital pyoderma or inflammation, fibropapillomatosis and foot rot.

In dairy herds with high producing cows that are kept in cow barns had reduced likelihood of clinical lameness up to 30–70%. Much less (5–10%) limbs' problems are encountered in cows kept on pastures or housed in well fitted stalls. Many factors contribute to feet and hoof problems. The most common are: too short stands, dampness, slippery flooring, dirty and muddy environment, moreover dietary mistakes, genetic factors and bad hoof trimming plays here a significant role.

Susceptibility to lameness is considerable higher in cows kept on hard flooring (cement, concrete) then in cows kept on soft bedding. Lack of exercises, periparturient period, season, age, breed and physical condition are predisposing factors [10,14,15].

Prophylaxis of hoof disorders is sought in nutrition containing balanced amino acids necessary for keratin synthesis – cystine, methionine and histidine, balanced trace elements – Ca, Zn, Se, Cu, Mn, vitamins – A, D, E  and biotin [10,15,27], biotin synthesis in rumen is minimal [26]. Biotin as an additive mainly diminish white line separation but does not affects greatly other hoof problems [8]. Biotin added to food is digested in about 50% in rumen. It should be suplemented in 20 mg/d/cow for lactating cows and 10 mg/d/cow in dry cows. Whereas Zn-methionin supplementation protects from plate erosion [10]. Research carried out i  United States [5] shown promising results with combined use of Zn- methionin, Mn- methionin, Cu – lysine i Co – glukoheptonic (CTM-4-Plex-Zinpro).

The aim of this study was the estimation of the biotin and Zn-methionine feed additives on feet health and fertility.

MATERIAL AND METHODS

The experiment was conducted on a dairy farm in where cows were kept on thin soft layer. There are 500 dairy cows black and white with 70–90% HF, average productivity was 7000 kg of milk. The food samples were collected to estimate its nutritional value based on essential ingredients (dry matter, proteins, fat and fibre) with commonly used method (AOAC 2005) and trace elements Ca, Mg, Na, K, with atomic absorption spectroscopy (PN-EN-ISO : 6869:2002), P – with photometry (PN-ISO -6491 2000), S – with PN-93/A-7485.15 and Cl with PN- 81/R-64780. Based on the above results nutritional value according to directive DLG [6], trace elements content according to directive NRC [21] and ion's balance (DCAB) of nutritional dose (Table 1).

Table 1. Nutritional dose (based on DLG)

Forage

Amount (kg)

Corn silage
Grass silage
Wheat barn
Barley pellets
Malt sprouts
Trace elements

35.0
10.0
3.0
2.8
1.0
0.1

Nutritional value

d.m. (kg)

MJ-NEL

nBO
(g)

Balance N

Ca (g)

P (g)

Mg (g)

K (g)

Na
(g)

S
(g)

Cl
(g)

DCAD
(meq/kg d.m.)

18

135

2873

- 44

120

100

41,4

151

31

41

50

185

One hundred lactating cows were chosen to the experiment, 30 in each group. Cows in Group I – control, were fed with standard forage for this farm, experimental cows form Group II and III had added biotin in 10 mg/d/cow – Group II and biotin in 10 mg/d/cow and Zn-methionine in 5 g/d/cow – Group III.

Experiment took place during first seven months of lactation, at the beginning and at the end of experiment, the feet state were estimated. We were looking for feet ulcers, dermatitis, haematomas and white line disorders. Moreover, based on farm records the frequency of lameness, insemination index (per cow per year), conception rate (percentage of pregnant cows after first service), interpregnancy period were assessed. The results were developed with χ2 test [24].

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The results of hoof clinical examination in cows included in the experiment are presented in Tables 2 and 3.

Table 2. Types of toe diseases in cows (30 cows in the group = 120 feet) – the beginning of the experiment

Group

Feet ulcer

Dermatitis

Haematoma

White line injury

Number of cows

Number of cows

Number of cows

Number of cows

Ill

Healthy

%

Ill

Healthy

%

Ill

Healthy

%

Ill

Healthy

%

I

26

94

21.7

22

98

18.3

19

101

15.8

8

112

6.7

II

24

96

20.0

25

95

20.8

15

105

12.5

6

114

5.0

III

23

97

19.2

20

100

16.7

24

96

20.0

6

114

5.0

Table 3. Types of toe diseases in cows (30 cows in the group =120 feet) – the end of the experiment

Group

Feet ulcer

Dermatitis

Haematoma

White line injury

Number of cows

Number of cows

Number of cows

Number of cows

Ill

Healthy

%

Ill

Healthy

%

Ill

Healthy

%

Ill

Healthy

%

I

24

96

20.0

18

102

15.0

20

100

16.7

6

114

5.0

II

23

97

19.2

23

97

19.2

12

108

10.0

5

115

4.2

III

18

102

15.0

17

103

14.2

18

102

15.0

5

115

4.2

Results received on incidence of foot diseases – foot ulcer, interdigital dermatitis, haematoma and white line injury – suggest that cows which were biotin (group II) or biotin with Zn-methionine supplemented for seven months have improved foot health, compared to animals form the control group (group I), which were not supplemented with those dietary components. It was the most obvious in the group of cows that were fed both supplements simultaneously (Table 2 and 3). At the beginning of the experiment incidence of foot ulcer and interdigital dermatitis considered 20% and approximately 19% respectively of evaluated foot. Whereas at the end of the experiment incidence of those diseases decreased by 0.8 and 0.2% in cows receiving biotin, and by 5.0 and 4.85% in cows receiving biotin and Zn-methionine simultaneously. However, used supplements didn't influence that much the incidence of haematomas and white line injuries. The incidence of those diseases decreased in a group of cows receiving biotin (group II) from 12.5 to 10.0 % and  from 5.0 to 4.2 % and in a group of cows that received both biotin and Zn-methionine (group III) by 5.0 and 0.8 % respectively.

The range of lameness, considered as a sign of a particular foot diseases, varied at the beginning of the experiment in all the cows included in the experiment from 20.0 do 22.5%. Whereas at the end of the experiment the percentage of lame cows in the control group was at the same level as at the beginning of the experiment (21.7%). In group II, contained of cows receiving biotin the incidence of lameness decreased by 2.5% and in the group III, contained of cows receiving biotin and Zn-methionine together, the incidence of lameness decreased by 5%. Noted differences in the improvement of incidence of those diseases were not confirmed statistically.

Fertility indexes of cows included in the experiment are shown in the Table 4 and 5.

Table 4. Fertility indexes of cows – beginning of the experiment

Group

Number of animals

Conception rate
%

Insemination index

Days of interpregnancy interval

Quantity

%

I

30

100

38.7

2.47

211.0

II

30

100

22.7

2.69

186.3

III

30

100

20.5

4.03

214.6

Table 5. Fertility indexes of cows – the end of the experiment

Group

Number of animals

Conception rate
%

Insemination index

Days of interpregnancy interval

Quantity

%

I

17

56.7

35.3

1.9

168.3

II

24

80

27.5

2.21

177.9

III

23

76.7

38.7

2.3

175.9

Evaluation of fertility indexes in cows included in the research demonstrated low values at the beginning, as well as at the end of the experiment (Table 4 and 5). It is well described by low – less than 60% conception rate in the herd. It is an evidence of significant problems with normal reproductive tract functions in cows. That fact is also confirmed by values of insemination index (from 2.47 to 4.03) and interpregnancy interval in cows at the beginning of the experiment (Table 4). Values of insemination index at the end of the experiment improved much, compared to index values at the beginning of the research, especially in cows from group III, that received biotin with Zn-methionine (Table 5).

The proper value of interpregnancy interval amounts 90–110 days. In cows included in the research at the beginning of the experiment the length of that period varied form 186.3 to 214.6 days and at the end of the experiment those values were slightly lower (168.3–177.9 days), but still differed much from the standards. Long interpregnancy periods are an evidence of late initiation of ovarian activity, low insemination effectiveness in post partum cows and organizational mistakes in herd management.

Discussion
Feed supplementation of 10mg/day per cow of biotin for 7 months in cattle during 1st, 2nd and 3rd lactation had a positive influence on incidence of foot diseases such as feet ulcer, dermatitis, heamatoma and white line injury. It is an evidence of it's positive influence on foot diseases. Green and Muelling [12] and Ferreira and Weiss [9] declared that biotin as a coenzyme takes part in de novo synthesis of long-chain fatty acids, that play important role in  creation of intercellular matrix merging feet horn. It also positively influences healing of feet ulcers [17]. In the study on 100 cows Bergsten et al. [2] demonstrated that after biotin supplementation number of cows affected with that disease decreased from 50 to 24%, although they didn't proved biotin influence on heel bulb suppuration. The research on biotin influence on white line disease (WLD) conducted on 100 cows in 5 dairy cattle farms in Great Britain revealed 2 cases in primiparous heifers, 16 cases in multipare cows and 48 cases in old cows (>five lactations). Pötsch et al. [22] declared that 20 mg/day/cow of biotin supplementation decreased incidence of WLD from 45 to 8.5%.

Feed supplementation of 10 and 5 g/day/cow of biotin and Zn-methionine respectively, had a greater influence on feet health, than biotin supplementation alone – the incidence of feet ulcer and interdigital dermatitis decreased by approximately 5%. Those supplements (biotin and Zn-methionine) had a slightly lower influence on incidence of haematomas and white line injuries.

In the research of Moore et al. [19] the incidence of feet diseases in cows supplemented with approximately 5 g/day/cow of Zn-methionine was low. Drendel et al. [7] showed that supplementation with Zn, Mn, Cu and Co chelates in primiparous heifers had a marked influence only on diminishing sole heamatoma incidence. In US study [20] on large number of cows during first and second lactation the feet health was evaluated in 150 and 250 day of lactation. The animals were supplemented with microelements in sulfates or chelates form. Supplementation of Zn, Mn, Cu and Co only in a form of sulfates led to a marked decrease of hoof wall separation cases, but increased the incidence of plate erosion (heel bulb suppuration), what would confirm our research results.

Methionine is considered as on of the most important amino acids playing a role in a keratinocytes structure creation. So we can conclude that supplementation of  rumen protected methionine had some positive influence on hoof horn creation.

Collic et al. [4] showed that in large cattle herds lameness was connected with marked lengthening of interpregnancy period and decrease of conception rate. Similar relationship was revealed in research of Enting et al. [8].

Feeding of supplements – biotin or biotin together with Zn-methionine improved slightly fertility indexes in cows. It is confirmed by study of Campbell'a et al. [3].

CONCLUSIONS

Study results concerning biotin or biotin and Zn-methionine supplementation in cows during first and second trimester of lactation revealed that among researched feet health indicators, the biggest improvement in incidence of lameness (by 5%) was noted in group of cows supplemented with biotin together with Zn-methionine. Whereas in cows supplemented only with biotin the improvement in the feet disease incidence amounted 2%. Feed supplementation of additives positively influenced some fertility indexes. It is described by marked improvement in insemination index, especially in cows supplemented with biotin and Zn-methionine together and shortening of interpregnancy interval (168.3–175.9 days). Whereas low conception rate in cows (27.5–38.7%) didn't improve. For prophylaxis of feet disorders and infertility it is advisable to use food additives containing biotin and Zn-methionine.

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Accepted for print: 2.12.2009



Responses to this article, comments are invited and should be submitted within three months of the publication of the article. If accepted for publication, they will be published in the chapter headed 'Discussions' and hyperlinked to the article.


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