On 25 October 2012, the International Dairy Nutrition Symposium had a successful sixth edition with over 180 participants from 16 different countries. At the symposium, organized by the Centre for Animal Nutrition in cooperation with Balchem Corporation, Dairy Campus and the Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences, seven experts shared their views on “Nutritional management in early lactation”. Their general conclusion: the key lies in maximizing feed intake of the fresh cow.
The first speaker Dr Björn Kuhla (Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology, Germany) discussed the central regulation of feed intake in dairy cattle by specific metabolites such as beta-hydroxybutyric acid. Roselinde Goselink (Wageningen UR Livestock Research, The Netherlands) continued with the anatomy of the rumen wall and effects of feed intake and ration composition on rumen papillae growth around calving. Dr José Santos (University of Florida, USA) presented the effects of dietary long-chain fatty acids on production, health and reproduction. In his opinion, the best strategy is the increased feeding of omega-6 fatty acids during the transition period and higher omega-3 fatty acids intake at the time of breeding.
After lunch, Kees de Koning (Dairy Campus, The Netherlands) introduced the new Dutch centre for dairy innovation: Dairy Campus, integrating research with education and entrepreneurship for the development of innovations in the dairy sector. Saskia van der Drift (GD Animal Health Service, The Netherlands) continued the scientific programme with energy partitioning and protein and fat mobilization around calving. Dr Stephen Whelan (University College Dublin, Ireland) presented his research to reduce the energy deficiency after calving by reducing dietary crude protein level with increased glucogenic nutrient availability as a strategy to support the transition cow. Dr Ric Grummer (Balchem Corporation, USA) was the final speaker of the day, summarizing the various strategies for nutritional support during early lactation. Fat mobilisation cannot and must not be prevented, as it is part of the natural process of the onset of lactation; the most important objective in feeding fresh cows should be to maximize dry matter intake.
For people who would like to have another look at the topics: the abstracts and presentations are available online at the symposium website.
We would like to express our thanks once more to our co-organizers, speakers, chairmen and of course the participants; we are looking forward to see you again at the Dairy Nutrition Symposium 2013!