The effect of supplemental biotin in dairy cow diets on fibre fermentation patterns as measured by in vitro gas production

Author: C.W. Cruywagen and G.A. Bunge
Year: 2004
Issue: 6
Volume: 34
Page: 68 - 70

Six ruminally-cannulated cows were assigned to a 2 x 3 changeover experiment with two periods to determine the effect of supplemental biotin on in vitro fibre fermentation kinetics. All the cows received the same basal diet but with different biotin concentrations. Treatments were no biotin supplementation (Control) or biotin mixed into the feed to provide 40 mg biotin/cow/day (Biotin). In each period, three cows received the Control and three cows the Biotin treatment. After an adaptation period of 21 days, rumen liquor was extracted and used as inoculum in gas production trials with lucerne hay, oat hay and wheat straw as substrates. Gas production was measured after 12, 18, 24, 30 and 48 hours fermentation. For all three substrates, biotin supplementation resulted in a significant increase in gas production rate during the early hours of fermentation (0-12 hours), but not at the subsequent times. It was concluded that biotin supplementation appears to increase initial fermentation rate, which may suggest an increased rate of NDF degradation in biotin-supplemented cows.

Keywords: biotin, dairy cows, fibre fermentation, gas production, nutrition
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