African Journal of Biotechnology

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Effects of vitamins and trace-elements supplementation on milk production in dairy cows: A review

Feng-Li Yang, Xiao-Shan Li, Bao-Xiang He


During the past decade, significant advances were made in understanding the effects of vitamins and trace-elements supplement on milk production of dairy cows. This work discussed the effects of vitamins and trace-elements supplementation on milk production of dairy cows. Studies have indicated that vitamin A (VA) and β-carotene (BC) supplementation have some effects on udder health and milk yield in dairy cows whose intake is below 110 IU/kg BW/day. If low quality forage is fed, supplementation of VA should be considered. Supplementation of B-vitamin has important effects on milk production and could increase milk yield and milk component production. The effect of vitamin E (VE) and selenium (Se) supplementation on the milk yield and milk components are not unified due to the optimum dose, route and timing of VE administration in lactational dairy cows. Zinc (Zn) supplementation increases lactation performance and reduces milk somatic cell count (SCC) in most studies. Limited research has indicated that copper (Cu) supplementation could reduce milk SCC. Before deciding to supplement vitamins and trace-minerals indicated earlier for the improvement of milk production of lactational cows, farmers should have their animals fed with tested and evaluated rations to be sure of the levels of supplementation which may be warranted.

Keywords: Vitamin, trace-element, dairy cow, milk production
AJOL African Journals Online