Effects of glyphosate residues and different concentrate feed proportions on performance, energy metabolism and health characteristics in lactating dairy cows

The aim of this study was to examine the influence of glyphosate (GL) residues in feedstuffs on performance, energy balance and health-related characteristics of lactating dairy cows fed diets with different concentrate feed proportions. After an adaption period, 64 German Holstein cows (207 ± 49 d in milk; mean ± SD) were assigned to either groups receiving a GL contaminated total mixed ration (TMR) (GL groups) or an uncontaminated TMR (CON groups) during a 16 weeks trial. Contaminated feedstuffs used were legally GL-treated peas and wheat (straw and grain). GL and CON groups were subdivided into a “low concentrate” group (LC) fed on dry matter (DM) basis of 21% maize silage, 42% grass silage, 7% straw and 30% concentrate and a “high concentrate” group (HC) composed of 11% maize silage, 22% grass silage, 7% straw and 60% concentrate for ad libitum consumption. Body condition score, body weight, DM intake and milk performance parameters were recorded. In blood serum, β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and glucose were measured and energy balance was calculated. Milk was analysed for GL residues. At week 0, 7 and 15, general health status was evaluated by a modified clinical score. The average individual GL intake amounted for Groups CONLC, CONHC, GLLC and GLHC to 0.8, 0.8, 73.8 and 84.5 mg/d, respectively. No GL residues were detected in milk. GL contamination did not affect body condition score, body weight, DM intake, nutrient digestibility, net energy intake, net energy balance or BHB, glucose, NEFA and milk performance parameters; whereas concentrate feed proportion and time did affect most parameters. The clinical examination showed no adverse effect of GL-contaminated feedstuffs on cows’ health condition. In the present study, GL-contaminated feedstuffs showed no influence on performance and energy balance of lactating dairy cows, irrespective of feed concentrate proportion.



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