Palmitic acid-enriched fat supplementation alleviates negative production responses during early lactation of Holstein dairy cows

Hani M. El-Zaiat*, Dyaaeldin Mohamed, Sobhy M. Sallam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Effects of rumen-protected fat (RPF) on suppressing the negative performance responses in early lactation period of Holstein dairy cows were investigated. Three hundred multiparous Holstein cows (647 ± 16 kg bodyweight and 90 days in milk (DIM)) were randomly housed into three free-stall barns (100 cows per barn) and assigned to the treatments for 90 days, as follows: (1) control (CTL) diet without RPF; (2) calcium salt of palm fatty acids (CaFA) 30 g/kg DM, and (3) fractionated fatty acids of palm oil (FFA) 25 g/kg DM. Cows were fed total mixed ration containing 580 g of concentrate and 420 g of roughage per kilogram DM. Cows fed FFA exhibited a higher (P < 0.05) DM intake and body condition score than did those fed CaFA or CTL diets respectively. Moreover, cows fed the FFA diet showed decreased (P < 0.05) changes to bodyweight at 30 DIM and to body condition score at 60 DIM and increased digestibility of ether extract and neutral detergent fibre. Blood concentrations of triglycerides, cholesterol and glucose were higher (P < 0.05) for cows fed FFA diet than for those fed the other diets, between 4 and 30 DIM, whereas concentrations of non-esterified fatty acids, β-hydroxybutyric acid and urine ketones were lower for cows fed RPF sources (P < 0.05). Relative to CTL diet, CaFA and FFA diets increased (P < 0.05) milk yield and milk fat content at 4-30 DIM. Feeding FFA improved feed efficiency by 8.9% (P = 0.006), between 31 and 60 DIM, compared with CaFA. Inclusion of a palmitic acid-enriched fat supplement in Holstein cow diet increased milk yield and fat content and mitigated the deleterious effects of metabolic disorders during the early lactation period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1598-1606
Number of pages9
JournalAnimal Production Science
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • early lactation
  • Holstein cows
  • lactation performance
  • palmitic acid-enriched fat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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