A healthy immune system is vital to maintaining overall dairy cow health and improve milk production. Research presented at the 2013 American Dairy Science Association-American Society of Animal Science Joint Annual Meeting suggested the positive impact of the nutritional supplement OmniGen-AF from Prince Agri Products Inc. in helping to support the cow's natural immune system against multiple sources of year-round stress. Multiple abstracts were presented at the meeting, summarizing new university and field research studies, including:
- "Evaluation of OmniGen-AF in heat ‐ stressed Holstein cows in lactation." Research conducted at the University of Arizona using cows housed in environmentally-controlled modules indicated animals receiving OmniGen-AF had significantly greater dry matter intake, less water consumption, reduced respiration rates and lower rectal temperatures during heat stress than control cows.
- "Milk and milk quality evaluated on a commercial Holstein dairy following an OmniGen-AF dry cow and early lactation feeding strategy." This trial, conducted at an 8,000-cow farm, showed mature Holsteins fed OmniGen-AF from dry-off through 30 days in milk had statistically higher first test day, four week and peak milk yields than cows that did not receive the product.
- "Growth and health costs used to evaluate OmniGen-AF feeding strategies in Jersey heifer calves reared on a commercial dairy." Jersey calves receiving supplemental OmniGen-AF from one to 50 or one to 160 days of age had improved growth and health, with reduced medication costs, compared to calves not receiving the product.
- "OmniGen-AF supplementation improves leukocyte responses and hematology of multiparous peripartum cows." Researchers at Texas Tech University found neutrophils (white blood cells that provide early protection against infections) obtained at calving from cows fed OmniGen-AF beginning at dry-off, compared to cells from cows not receiving the product, had higher L-selectin content, but lower oxidative burst intensity in response to E. coli. Cows receiving OmniGen-AF also had lower plasma haptoglobin concentration at 14 days after calving, versus controls. These results suggest feeding OmniGen-AF helped improve health status of cows during the transition period.
"These studies, combined with earlier university and field research, continue to demonstrate the positive benefits of a responsive immune system in dairy cattle," says Dr. Jim Chapman, dairy technology manager for Prince Agri Products, who participated in the latest studies. "Proper immune function can help maintain healthy cows year-round, which can help lead to smoother transitions, improved milk production, fewer culled cows and greater profitability."
OmniGen-AF, from nutritional supplement supplier Prince Agri Products, can be supplemented to all classes of dairy cattle as part of their regular diet. The full abstracts are available at the website of the American Dairy Science Association-American Society of Animal Science joint annual meeting.