Influence of rumen bypass fat supplementation during early lactation in tropical crossbred dairy cattle

  • K.K.T.N. RanaweeraEmail author
  • M.B.P. Kumara Mahipala
  • W.M.P.B. Weerasinghe
Regular Articles


The present study investigated the influence of rumen bypass fat–supplemented total mixed ration (TMR) on milk production of tropical crossbred, dairy cows. Twelve stall-fed, tropical crossbred, dairy cows were studied from calving to 15 weeks of lactation. The cows were 397.6 kg in body weight and produced 9.14 L/cow/day milk at the first week of lactation. The experiment was on a complete randomized design with two treatments (i.e., basal diet alone and basal diet with bypass fat supplement) each consisting six (n = 6) replicate cows. During the experimental period, while cows of both treatments were individually fed with respective basal diet (TMR), only the cows allocated for experimental dietary treatment were supplemented with rumen bypass fat (200 g/cow/day) containing calcium salts of long-chain fatty acids. Feed intake, body weight (BW), and milk yield of cows were recorded. Proximate composition of feed, milk composition, and blood metabolic profile of cows were assessed. Dry matter intake and BW of cows were not affected (P > 0.05) by supplementation of rumen bypass fat. The cows supplemented with bypass fat had recorded significantly higher (P < 0.05) milk production compared with cows that did not receive bypass fat supplements until eleventh week of the lactation. As such, bypass fat supplementation resulted 132.38 L/cow higher (P < 0.05) cumulative milk production at 15 weeks compared with their counterparts (1142 vs. 1010 L/cow). But, milk fat, solid non-fat (SNF), protein, and milk urea nitrogen (MUN) contents were not influenced (P < 0.05) by bypass fat supplementation. Bypass fat–supplemented cows had comparatively greater (P < 0.05) serum non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) level around 6–8 weeks of lactation. However, the serum metabolites’ (i.e., NEFA, betahydroxy butyric acid (BHBA), albumin, calcium, and phosphorous) contents of both treatments varied within their respective reference range throughout the experiment. Neither the fat-supplemented cows nor their counterparts experienced negative energy balance (NEB). Benefit cost ratio of bypass fat supplementation confirmed that there is a direct financial benefit of bypass fat supplementation until 12.7th week of lactation. In conclusion, bypass fat supplementation with TMR feeding during early lactation is recommended to increase the milk production of tropical crossbred dairy cows with medium production.


Metabolic profile Serum Non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) Betahydroxy butyric acid (BHBA) Milk yield 



The authors acknowledge the generous support of Dr. Devinda Wickramasinghe. Mr. Bazir Mohommed (Proprietor) and Mr. Tharindu Sampath (Farm Manager) of Haifah Farm are acknowledged for facilitating to conduct the research at the farm.

Funding information

This work was supported by the National Research Council of Sri Lanka (Grant No. NRC TO 14-10).

Compliance with ethical standards

Statement of informed consent

The experimental protocols were approved by the committee of ethics review of research projects involving animals of the University of Peradeniya. The manuscript does not contain clinical studies or patient data.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Postgraduate Institute of AgricultureUniversity of PeradeniyaPeradeniyaSri Lanka
  2. 2.Dept. of Animal Science, Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of PeradeniyaPeradeniyaSri Lanka
  3. 3.Veterinary Research InstitutePeradeniyaSri Lanka

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