Calcium Propionate Increased Milk Parameters in Holstein Cows


  • William Del Conte Martins Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade Paranaense (UNIPAR), Umuarama, PR, Brazil.
  • Sérgio Henrique Mioso Cunha Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade Paranaense (UNIPAR), Umuarama, PR, Brazil.
  • André Giarola Boscarato Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade Paranaense (UNIPAR), Umuarama, PR, Brazil.
  • Jonhatan Soares de Lima Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade Paranaense (UNIPAR), Umuarama, PR, Brazil.
  • Jair Dario Esteves Junior Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade Paranaense (UNIPAR), Umuarama, PR, Brazil.
  • Gian Carlo Uliana Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade Paranaense (UNIPAR), Umuarama, PR, Brazil.
  • Mateus Pedrini Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade Paranaense (UNIPAR), Umuarama, PR, Brazil.
  • Luiz Romulo Alberton Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade Paranaense (UNIPAR), Umuarama, PR, Brazil.



Background: In the early lactation, dairy cows go through a period of negative energy balance because they do not intake enough food to supply the energetic demand of milk production. In this period, dairy cows are susceptible to metabolic disorders, although has little evidence that milk production contribute to increase diseases occurrence. Some alternatives to minimize metabolic disorders, that reduce milk yield, has been suggested, as increase energy density in the diet of dry cows 21 days before the parturition and include additives in the diet pre and post-partum. The aim of this study was to measure the productive parameters in dairy cows fed calcium salts as energetic source.           

Materials, Methods & Results: Two Latin square 4x4 were used, whereas one comprehended of early lactation cows and the other of mid lactation cows. Animals of 2nd and 3rd parity were used only. Parity was distributed evenly among groups. The trial consisted of 4 groups with 4 treatments as follow: T1: 300 g of calcium acetate, T2: 200 g of calcium propionate, T3: 200 g of calcium salts of fatty acids, and T4: control without any calcium additive. The animals were milked twice a day, the first milking at 07:00 am and the second milking at 05:00 pm. Milk samples were collected in plastic containers with potassium dichromate. These samples were sent to the Laboratory of Milk Analysis of the Paranaense Association of Breeders of the Holstein Breed for analysis of fat, protein, lactose and total solids through the infrared method. Throughout the experimental period, the daily production of the animals under study was recorded. The production of milk (kg) was corrected to 3.5% fat using the formula PLA 3.5% = (0.432 + kg milk) + (0.1623 x kg milk x fat content).

Discussion: Greater supply of glucose or propionate stimulate milk protein production, but the mechanism of this stimulation is unclear. Milk protein is dependent on energy supply, and deficient energy intake reduces milk protein levels. Calcium propionate provided enough energy supply and increased milk protein levels. The synthesis of lactose has influence in water absorption in mammary gland and lactose determine milk osmolarity. The lactose levels vary according blood glucose, somatic cells count and energy availability for physiological processes. In the literature, rarely has been found greater lactose concentration caused by feed intake, becoming very important the results found in this work. The diet energy concentration and consumption rate determine energy intake, which limit milk yield. Dairy cows in early lactation has marked increased of nutrient requirements to support milk production. Support milk lactose synthesis in the mammary gland is the one of responsible for increase of nutrients requirements. In this period, the glucose demands increases 2 times more than during late gestation. Propionate is converted to glucose in the liver and it will be support lactose synthesis in the mammary gland. Propionate supplementation in this work provided better energetic supply and it is possible to consider, evaluating the milk yield. It was concluded that calcium propionate increased milk parameters like: milk protein, lactose and milk fat. Holstein cows fed calcium propionate had greater milk yield than other groups.


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How to Cite

Martins, W. D. C., Mioso Cunha, S. H., Boscarato, A. G., de Lima, J. S., Esteves Junior, J. D., Uliana, G. C., Pedrini, M., & Alberton, L. R. (2019). Calcium Propionate Increased Milk Parameters in Holstein Cows. Acta Scientiae Veterinariae, 47(1).




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