September 1, 2021


DSM: Improving lifetime performance of dairy cows with micronutrients




For a long time, we have been faced with production problems - mastitis, fertility issues, hypocalcemia, lameness, etc., especially for modern, high milk production volumes. These problems have led to poor lifetime performance. At the same time, there are several reports about its management and prevention with micronutrients.

In addition, according to recent scientific reports, accelerated growth is key to success for lifetime performance. One solution for it is to focus on young stages in dairy cows.

< Beta-carotene >

According to some reports, beta-carotene feeding in calves will prevent diarrhoea and respiratory disease. The reason is that beta-carotene has been shown to promote IgG and IgA production in the blood and gastrointestinal tract. In addition, beta-carotene is one antioxidant for calves. Ideally, calves should receive beta-carotene that is transferred from colostrum and milk, but the modern dam tends to be deficient in beta-carotene due to their feed. As a known fact, beta-carotene not only improves reproduction, but also affects calf health. We should therefore feed beta-carotene to cows and calves for improvement of lifetime performance.

< Vitamin C (Stay-C) >

Vitamin C is one strong antioxidant for calves, but we tend to sometimes forget feeding vitamin C to calves. Some reports say that vitamin C stimulates the production of immunoglobulin, and supports calf health. DSM provides a stable form of vitamin C named Stay-C for ruminants.

< Essential oils, CRINA® Ruminants >

Essential oils contain volatile secondary compounds, such as natural flavours and fragrances. When they're part of a plant's natural defence system, they’re usually in the form of terpenes or phenols. They show antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties. CRINA® Ruminants is a blend of essential oil compounds. It is scientifically formulated to improve rumen fermentation and increase propionate in the rumen and the utilisation of protein.

Finally, essential oils can improve milk yield. From field observations in heifers, feeding CRINA ruminants increased daily weight gain and T-Cho in the serum, supporting accelerated growth in heifers.

< Calcidiol (25-hydroxyvitamin D, HyD®) >

Calcidiol, also known as 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, is a form of vitamin D produced in the liver. DSM developed a Calcidiol named HyD® for farm animals. It supports skeletal development in cows and calves and will help in calcium metabolism before and after parturition for prevention of hypocalcemia.

< Biotin >

Lame cows do not perform as well as animals that have healthy hooves. It is therefore essential to support the growth of healthy, strong hoof horn. Biotin improves horn quality and strength. This reduces the occurrence of lameness and the need for antibiotic treatments, delivering better welfare and increased longevity.

< Amylase (RumiStar®) >

Exogenous amylase is applied for dairy and beef cattle. RumiStar® is a pure amylase and breaks down starch into oligosaccharides. Oligosaccharides provides an energy source for cellulolytic bacteria in the rumen. This leads to improved fibre digestion and decreases manure production. RuminStar affords higher milk and fat production and healthy condition of the rumen.

< Probiotics (Cylactin®) >
Efficient digestion depends on maintaining balanced microbial populations in the gut of calves. This is where Cylactin can help. Containing live Enterococcus faecium, Cylactin is a probiotic feed additive. It stabilises gut microflora, builds a better intestinal environment, prevents intestinal problems, and accelerates calf growth.

< Antioxidant package solution >


Dairy cows produce a lot of milk every day. It means that they consume a lot of oxygen for cellular energy production. More oxygen consumption for milk production translates to higher production of reactive oxygen species, and an increased exposure to oxidative stress. Good management of oxidative stress reduces problems for dairy cows. The oxidative stress elimination mechanism is driven by the coordinated action of many antioxidants. DSM provides its experience in vitamin science and the combination of antioxidants for dairy cows. DSM formulates such a package to fit individual markets through its "Oxicare" solution.



- Yoshinobu Nakatsuji, Nutrition Health and Solutions Manager – Ruminants, DSM