Drying-off dairy cows without antibiotic therapy and orally supplemented with lyophilized Aloe arborescens: effects on rumen activity, immunometabolic profile, and milk yield

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Abstract

The drying-off is a stressful stage of the lactation cycle of dairy cows that deeply affects cows' metabolism, inflammatory status, and immune system. The promising effects observed during the transition period resulting from supplementation with Aloe arborescens Mill. suggest its potential utility during this phase. A group of 23 Holstein dairy cows with somatic cell count (SCC) less than 200 x 10(3) cells/ml and without intramammary infections were enroled in the study. Cows were divided into two groups: one orally receiving 10 g/day of A. arborescens Mill. lyophilized powder (AL; 11 cows) between -7 and 7 days from dry-off (DFD), and a control group (CTR; 12 cows). From -14 to 7 DFD and 7 and 28 days from calving, the body condition score and rectal temperature were determined, and rumen fluid, feces, milk, and blood samples were collected. Daily rumination times and milk yield were recorded. Data were analyzed through repeated measures mixed models. Compared to the CTR group, AL cows tended to show reduced production of volatile fatty acids in the rumen with acetate proportion that tended to be higher and valerate proportion that was lower. Moreover, Aloe supplementation caused a reduction in fecal dry matter. At the end of drying-off, AL cows presented better liver function, as suggested by higher paraoxonase plasma concentrations at 7 DFD, higher glucose, and lower urea, but showed increased reactive oxygen metabolites. Aloe supplementation at dry-off ameliorated inflammatory status after calving (lower haptoglobin and ceruloplasmin levels), and improved milk yield in the first weeks of subsequent lactation, without influencing milk composition, SCC, and incidence of intramammary infections. These results confirmed the positive effects of Aloe administration on liver function in dairy cows but indicate the need for further studies investigating the effects of Aloe on rumen fermentation profile and oxidative status.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)N/A-N/A
RivistaJournal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition
Volume2022
DOI
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2022

Keywords

  • nutraceutical
  • rumen fermentation
  • selective dry-cow therapy
  • teat sealant

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