Economic impact of polyherbal mixtures containing choline, lysine and methionine on milk production and health of dairy cows
The objective of this study was to evaluate the economic impact of supplementing dairy cows with mixtures of polyherbal products supplying conjugates of choline (BioCholine, BC), lysine (OptiLysine, L) and methionine (OptiMethionine, M), considering the costs of veterinary treatments, the nutraceutical effects of the mixtures, the partial cost and returns of milk production. Eighty postpartum Holstein cows were randomly assigned to individually receive. The pellets no containing (Control, 20 cows) and containing polyherbal products (g/d) (BC20, 19 cows; BC40, 17 cows; BC20+L40+M20, 12 cows, and BC40+L80+M40, 12 cows) were offered to cows during the milking through automatic feeders in the course of 90 days in a commercial farm. Treatment costs were grouped in terms of antibiotics, healing, anti-inflammatories, glucogenics, hormonal, intra-mammary treatments, restorative and vitamins. Milk production was not affected (P>0.05) by polyherbal additives but there were numerical differences in the number of treatments and costs; animal health cost per cow showed a high variation coefficient (average 347%). Cows receiving BC40 and BC20+L40+M20 had reduced animal health cost per cow but only the treatment BC40 showed residual effects post experiment with an economic improvement of 2.1% over the control group, showing benefits associated to a reduction in the number of doses with antibiotics and doses of immune-stimulants. Cows receiving BC40 had the best milk yield numerically in combination with the lower number of animal health costs which resulted in the highest income.
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