Feed Additive Solutions to Enhance Dairy Sustainability

In this section, Trouw offers practical examples of feed additives that can be combined with management advice into ruminant feed additive solutions. These examples clearly illustrate that implementing a well-rounded feed additive solution is crucial.

The challenges faced by dairy farmers are often complex and diverse. Each farm deals with its unique aspects when confronted with a particular challenge, making it difficult to establish a uniform solution. For instance, if two farms encounter a drop in dry matter intake and milk fat production due to an increase in the temperature heat index to 72, it cannot be assumed that the solution will be identical for both farms.

Moreover, the circumstances and available resources for resolving problems can vary significantly. Addressing heat stress in a low input pasture-based system, for example, necessitates a distinct approach from tackling the same issue in a highly intensive farm utilizing a total system

Crucially, there are only a few instances where feed additive solutions for dairy cattle alone can entirely resolve a problem. Instead, a comprehensive approach that integrates various feed additives alongside considerations of ration, feed management, barn design, herd management, and numerous other elements should be adopted.

Examples of feed additives to reduce the carbon footprint of a dairy farm

Incorporating feed additive and feed supplement strategies into a cattle feeding program can yield significant results in reducing the carbon footprint of a dairy farm. Two noteworthy examples of feed additives for cattle, Fytera and  IntelliBond, showcase their potential contributions to this cause.
Fytera offers a direct reduction of enteric methane emissions by as much as 8-10%  while simultaneously enhancing feed efficiency, resulting in a commendable 5-6% reduction in carbon footprint per kilogram of milk produced. Alternatively, IntelliBond focuses on improving feed efficiency, resulting in a modest yet meaningful reduction of 1.5-2% in carbon footprint per kilogram of milk produced. Both feed additives operate through distinct mechanisms, making them suitable for combination in any comprehensive program aimed at minimizing the carbon footprint of dairy farms.

However, it is important to note that the utilization of these feed additives alone may not suffice to achieve the desired reductions necessary to meet the targets for carbon footprint reduction. They should therefore be included as components of a comprehensive feed additives solutions programme that encompasses genetics, enhanced transition management, measures to optimize feed efficiency, and adaptations to the ration.

Examples of feed additives to mitigate the negative effects of heat stress

Selacid is a part of a health programme that focuses on microbial control, decreasing the need of antibiotic use and enhancing poultry animal performance. 

Selacid is a combination of free, buffered short chain fatty acids and medium chain fatty acids. Selacid enhances a stable proximal intestinal microbiota, which is reflected in healthier and optimal performing animals.

Selacid Green Growth supports poultry health by maintaining microbial balance

Animals in heat stress, particularly those on diets with high levels of starch, often suffer from hindgut acidosis, resulting in a “leaky gut”. Treatment with Selko pH therefore fits very well in a feed additives solutions programme to mitigate the effects of leaky gut as a result of heat stress.

The combination of cooling and feeding IntelliBond resulted in a positive impact on milk fat production. Feeding IntelliBond reduced systemic inflammation, but also the integrity of the mammary epithelium.

These livestock feed additives examples should be combined with a programme to cool down the animals.