The consequences of a negative energy balance
The onset of lactation is particularly important. Insufficient energy intake during this period often results in metabolic disorders, poor reproductive performance and later, reduced milk volumes and fat percentages. The addition of fat to the herd’s diet helps to overcome the negative energy balance. It provides the additional energy and nutrients needed for a sustainable boost in milk volume and fat percentage.
The need for rumen bypass fats
Not all fats deliver the desired results. Unsaturated fats are prone to biohydrogenation caused by microbes in the rumen. This can lead to the creation of milk production inhibitors, acidosis and heat stress. Rumen bypass fats on the other hand, are very effective at overcoming the negative energy balance. When added to the herd’s diet, rumen bypass fats (also known as rumen protected fats or RPFs) are unaffected by the microbes in the rumen and delivered intact to the small intestine where they are turned into fatty acids and absorbed by the cow. The result is increased milk volume and fat percentage.