SUMMARY
  • Optomega is a high quality, concentrated EPA and DHA product produced from sustainable fish oils.
  • When included in dairy cow rations, Optomega can positively alter mammary gland tissue development, allowing for greater milk yields to be achieved.

 

BACKGROUND
  • Milk production in dairy cows is affected by many factors, with the development of the mammary gland being a key component of this.
  • There are two main types of tissue in the mammary tissue – epithelial and stromal cells. The latter provide structure and nutrients, whilst the former produce the alveoli that secrete milk.

 

TRIAL DESIGN

A trial was carried out at the University of Tehran, Iran, to assess the efficacy of Optomega, a source of EPA and DHA, on dairy cow mammary gland development and milk production. 10 multiparous Holstein dairy cows were randomly allocated to one of the two treatments (palm oil or fish oil supplied as Optomega) beginning 42 days prior to expected calving date, until 63 days in milk. Milk fatty acids content was determined on days 7 and 63 of lactation as well as samples of mammary tissue taken by a biopsy gun. Milk yield was measured daily and milk quality was considered weekly.

(A)                                                                                                      (B)

Fig 1. Mammary tissue of dairy cows fed Optomega (A) or Palm oil (B) (From: Barfourooshi et al., 2018, Ann. Anim. Sci 18 (4):973)

 

RESULTS

Including Optomega in dairy rations in the place of palm oil:

  • Significantly increased milk yield from 6 weeks of lactation.
  • Elevated unsaturated fat and DHA content in the milk whilst reduced the n6:n3 ratio, providing consumer benefits.
  • Significantly increased the proportion of epithelial cells in the mammary tissue whilst lowering stromal number, which may help to improve milk production capacity in Optomega fed cows.
  • Increased total alveoli number with improved consistency of size, suggesting a greater capacity to secrete milk.

 

Therefore, including Optomega in the diet of dairy cows both pre- and post-calving can help increase milk yield.

*This trial was conducted using Optomega, for more benefits see Optomega Plus.