Dairy feed additive
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Monensin use recommendations
Recommendations for use of a
feed additive for dairy cows have been made by a University of
Illinois Extension dairy specialist. Mike Hutjens said proper use of
the additive, monensin, which is commercially known as rumensin,
should increase feed efficiency, improve protein status and reduce
"With the FDA clearance to feed
monensin to dry and lactating cows, dairy managers have a new tool
to improve feed efficiency and herd health," said Hutjens. "However,
dairy managers should carefully monitor milk fat and milk protein
test. Under certain rations -- high starch, low effective fiber
and/or unsaturated oils -- the level of monensin may need to be
reduced. In the field, several herd owners have reported drops of
0.3 percentage unit. Herds with higher-than-breed-average milk fat
test can be candidate herds to be fed higher levels of monensin."
Hutjens said dairy managers,
nutritionists and veterinarians might want to note these points:
Efficiency of milk production increased 2 percent to 4 percent
with the recommended level of 11 grams to 22 grams of monensin per
ton of total ration dry matter on a dry matter basis.
suggested level of monensin for the milk cow ration is 240 to 275
milligrams per day, initially to allow the rumen microbes to
adjust to the additive, and adjust the level up or down based on
milk component changes.
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higher milk yield and lower components at higher level of monensin,
the amount of solids-corrected milk did not change.
Dry-matter intake did not change in early lactation and dropped in
the later stages of lactation. Body weight was not different
between controls and supplemented cows.
benefit-to-cost ratio for monensin for lactating cows was 5-to-1.
"Based on Canadian research results,
monensin should be fed to dry cows at 200 to 250 mg per day,
reducing displaced abomasums, increasing glucose precursors,
lowering ketosis risk and allowing smoother transition of dry cows
to the lactating cow ration," Hutjens said.
of Illinois news release]