Israeli researchers investigated the effects of adding a concentrated pomegranate extract to the ration of lactating cows on performance and udder health parameters.
Two experiments were conducted to investigate effects of dietary supplementation of concentrated pomegranate extract (CPE) on performance of lactating cows.
In Experiment 1, the effects of dose of CPE on cows’ voluntary intake and milk performance were determined.
The effects of 10 g CPE/kg DM and 40 g CPE/kg DM addition resulted in a 3.9% and 4.9% increase in voluntary intake, respectively, compared to control cows.
The higher intake and lower clinical mastitis incidences in cows fed 40, 20 and 10 g CPE/kg DM supplements were reflected in a concomitant increase of 8.2%, 2.65% and 5.4%, respectively, in milk production compared to control cows.
Milk antioxidant activity in cows fed the CPE supplements increased by 15.0 - 17.2% relative to control cows.
In Experiment 2, the effects of 40 g CPE addition per kg were measured in total mixed ration (TMR) dry matter (DM) fed to lactating cows divided into three subgroups on udder health and milk production.
For this trial 2, 200 cows were divided into pairs to produce three subgroups fed control TMR and three subgroups fed 40 g CPE/kg DM supplement mixed into the TMR.
Each of the two low somatic cell count (L-SCC) subgroups (control versus CPE) used 34 cows in mid-lactation, whereas the two high somatic cell count (H-SCC) subgroups (control versus CPE) each used 33 cows in mid-lactation, and two other subgroups (control versus CPE) each used 33 cows in early lactation.
The three subgroups fed CPE produced more milk than their respective control subgroups, their milk SCC was lower, and the proportion of H-SCC cows at the end of the experiment was lower.
Larger response to CPE addition on milk and milk energy yields seemed to occur in cows suffering from chronic mastitis and in cows in early lactation.