A six year study evaluating health, milk and milk quality in 427 dairy herds fed OmniGen-AF to dry and lactating cows
From 2007 through 2012, 427 U.S. dairy herds, totaling 273,796 cows, were enrolled in a study to evaluate health and production records collected from 90 day periods before and during the feeding of OmniGen-AF (Prince Agri Products, Inc., Quincy, IL). Herd sizes ranged from 68 to 6,700 cows with dairies starting the studies throughout the year (Jan-Mar, n=158, Apr-June, n=98, Jul-Sep, n=84, Oct-Dec, n=87). All dry and lactating cows were fed OmniGen-AF (OG) at 56g/hd/d for 90 days. Health events, milk quality and milk yields were collected from DC305, DRMS and PCDART systems. Data were analyzed using paired t-test (SAS, Statistical Analysis System) comparing number of health events and production recorded during the 90 days OG was fed (Post-OG) to those occurring in the 90 days prior to feeding OG (Pre-OG). The resulting data were sorted and analyzed by all herds (n=427), herd size (<100 hd, n=68: 101-500 hd, n=198: 501-999 hd, n=76: >1000 hd, n=85), and Pre-OG somatic cell count (SCC) cells/ml (<200k, n=103: 201k-300k, n=127: 301k-400k, n=72: >401k, n=62). Significance was declared at P<0.05. Reductions in mastitis cases/mo. (-24.3%), late term abortions/mo. (-28.6%), hospital pen cows/d (-16.7%) and dead cows/mo. (-33%) expressed as a % of total herd cows differed (P<0.001) between the Pre-OG to Post-OG 90 day periods. Although incidence rates of health events varied across herd sizes and among herds grouped by SCC, common to all were significant differences detected in metritis and dead cows between Pre-OG and Post-OG. The average Pre-OG SCC for all herds was 288,953 with an average of >70% of herds reporting a reduction in SCC. Changes in SCC from Pre-OG to Post-OG were proportional to the Pre-OG SCC. Herds with a Pre-OG SCC of between 201k-300k and 301k-400k or >400k were observed to have Post-OG SCC reductions of 23,102; 56,463 and 127,911 cells/ml, respectively (P<0.001). Milk production was reported in 208 herds with an average change from Pre-OG to Post-OG of 0.45kg/hd/d (P<0.05), however, only herds of <100 hd (P<0.05) and herds with a SCC of 201k-300k (P<0.001) showed significant milk improvements. Results from this study suggest a nutritional strategy that includes feeding OG as part of a best-management practice program for dry and lactating cows can influence health, milk yield and milk quality in commercial dairies.
Keywords: Health, milk quality, OmniGen-AF