Home' NZ Dairy Farmer : June 2011 Contents The Dairyman JUNE 2011 83
VITAMINS are a large group of com-
plex organic compounds, each with a
unique function in the body.
Although they are one of the most expen-
sive ingredients per kg in animal feeds, they
are required in tiny amounts.
While many farmers are prepared to put
trace mineral mixes into mixer wagons, grain
silos and water troughs only a small propor-
tion of them seem to be supplementing dairy
cow diets with vitamins.
Often salt blocks or trace element mixes
for water systems do not contain any vita-
mins. In contrast, the vast majority of the
dairy feed manufactured at the Winslow mill
-- including the full range of Winslow Blocks
-- contains vitamins A, D3 and E and some
also contain vitamin H (biotin).
Animal health that supports profitable pro-
duction relies on identifying the limiting fac-
tor and deciding if it is profitable or practica-
ble to supply.
In terms of dairy cow nutrition the limiting
factors could be considered in the order ener-
gy, protein, effective fibre, major minerals,
trace minerals, anti-nutritive factors and then
vitamins and of course water.
Vitamins may be low down on the list but
can still be a worthwhile insurance if animal
performance is high or forage quality low.
When feed leaves the Winslow mill we
don't know how much sun-dried hay low in
Vitamin A will be fed, what percentage of
the diet will be made of low vitamin E maize
silage or how depleted animal reserves of
vitamin D will become during a cold dark
winter so adding some vitamins seems a
Vitamin A deficiency is associated with
reduced fertility and retained membranes
post calving. Calves born with low reserves
of the vitamin will have increased suscepti-
bility to infection and scours.
Beta-carotene from which vitamin A is
derived is destroyed by oxidation and
declines rapidly when forages are stored.
Oxidation is increased by the action of heat
and light which is why we recommend feed
is stored in cool conditions out of direct sun-
Vitamin D3 plays a role in growth, deposi-
tion of bone and tooth mineral and absorp-
tion of calcium from the gut and has a par-
ticularly important role to play around calv-
ing. Vitamin D3 rarely occurs in plants
except sun dried roughages but can be pro-
duced from other compounds in the skin fol-
lowing irradiation by sunlight. In some parts
of the country sunlight during the winter
months may be insufficient -- especially it
seems with Alpacas which have evolved
under clearer skies.
Vitamin E is widely distributed in green
forages and grains but occurs at low levels in
straw, poor hay and maize silage.
Some feeds like lucerne may contain vita-
min E antagonists and the activity of vitamin
E may be reduced by high nitrate content in
feed. Vitamin E plays a key role in the body
as an anti-oxidant, especially working in
conjunction with selenium -- although the
two are not interchangeable extra vitamin E
is beneficial in low selenium areas.
The role of vitamin H (biotin) in hoof
health and strength was probably first identi-
fied in the racehorse industry. Biotin has also
been linked to improved liver function which
is beneficial post calving when cows invari-
ably mobilise body fat which can compro-
mise liver function.
Winslow Molassed Mineral Blocks are
often used in situations where forage quality
is not ideal and our pelleted feeds are used in
situations were increased production and
improved health and fertility is desired.
While not trying to meet the daily require-
ments assuming the worst possible mix of
feeds we can supply enough to make a sig-
nificant difference under typical conditions.
-- Copy supplied
The importance of vitamins in supplements for ruminants
Avoid Milk Loss
REDUCE YOUR POWER COSTS BY PUTTING
AN INSULATION WRAP ON YOUR MILK VAT
DTS INSTALL June 2011 --- August 2011
PAYMENT September 2011---October 2011
Most common causes of this are:
• Primary cooling not switched on
• Milk refrigeration unit not switched on
• Refrigeration unit failure
• Temperature probe failure
Know your silo temperatures at a glance while milking or
TempPro show your milk temperatures instantly with a highly
visible digital display situated in viewing distance from:
• the platform or pit area
• the home or office
* Home or office must be in line of sight of the dairy shed
* Extra charges will occur if
transmission antenna requires
• As certain conditions may not be
suitable, a DTS representative will visit
on farm for confirmation
• Designed and build in New Zealand
for New Zealand farmers
An insulation wrap will reduce the cost of your
refrigeration and CIP cleaning.
Two key benefits
• Stops heat transfer coming
through the stainless wall of
the vat. This means that the
temperature of the milk in the
vat does not increase.
• Prevents heat loss during the
CIP wash, maximising the
cleaning of the vat.
Also elimates crusting of
individual milking levels---
stopping a source of bacteria.
Trials show a 25% reduction in
the cost of running the chiller
when the vat is insulated.
Note: This saving is likely to be
higher when there is "skip a day
& night" collection.
Recommended for outside vats
Silo with side-wall cooling
DTS 0800 500 387
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