Keep a close eye on butterfat levels at grass

31 May 2019

The latest report on grass growth development across the UK has flagging a potential increased risk for milk fat depression and acidosis.

“It’s common for butterfat depression to occur during spring turnout, as a result of the high unsaturated oil and low fibre content in spring grass, both of which can upset the rumen pH and reduce fibre digestion,” explains Trident Feeds’ Charlotte Ward.

Increased risk

“Disruption of rumen balance can lead to an increased risk of sub-acute rumen acidosis, so it’s crucial the ration is balanced at turnout to avoid milk-fat suppression in the udder.”

According to Miss Ward, current grass samples across the UK are indicating the need for producers to ensure enough digestible and structural fibre is provided in the diet.

Rumen-protected fat

“Supplement forage fibre with non-forage digestible fibre sources, such as sugarbeet feed. Or another cost-effective way to support milk-fat production at grazing is to feed a high C:16 rumen- protected fat.

She says that supplements such as Butterfat Extra can easily be incorporated into well-balanced rations and show immediate improvements to milk fat percentages.

Palatable product

This product is a palatable rumen-protected fat, containing high levels of C:16 fatty acids targeted to boost yields and increase the energy density of the ration. Production responses of up to 0.3% more butterfat can result.