SUMMARY
  • Reproductive failure is a major cause of involuntary culling in dairy herds.
  • This is a major drain on the profitability of the global dairy enterprise.
  • Inclusion of Optomega Plus in dairy diets can help to improve conception rates.

BACKGROUND
  • Failure of the maternal recognition of pregnancy can occur for many reasons, including, but not limited to, very high milk yields, incorrect nutritional provisions and a failure to recognise the small hormone signal from the foetus.
  • The long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosaheptaenoic acid (DHA), are known to reduce prostaglandin synthesis.
  • Prostaglandin synthesis causes luteolysis, which terminates the current opportunity for implantation and a successful pregnancy.

 

TRIAL DESIGN

Anpario conducted a trial with the university of California Davis to assess the efficacy of Optomega Plus, a source of EPA & DHA, on dairy cow fertility on a commercial dairy herd in California. 400 multiparous, lactating, dairy cows were assigned to one of two treatment diets. This included a control diet of a basal TMR and a treatment diet which included the same basal TMR with the addition of 0.5% Optomega Plus on a dry matter basis. The cows were artificially inseminated following a double-OvSynch program for 1st service and, if unsuccessful, a single-OvSynch protocol for second service. The OvSynch synchronisation program is widely used in larger dairy herds to ensure successful breeding in a specified time period. The trial lasted until 150 days in milk were reached or until two full services were completed. Milk yields were above 50kg/cow/day.

Fig 1. The effect of Optomega Plus on conception rates of a high yielding dairy herd

 

RESULTS
  • Conception rate to 1st service was unaffected, though already very high using the double-OvSynch protocol.
  • Conception to 2nd service was increased from 39.5% to 49.1%.
  • Overall there was an 18% increase in the risk of a cow becoming pregnant.
  • Optomega can be used as a nutritional supplement to aid in improving dairy cow conception rates.