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Effects of dietary concentrate composition and linseed oil supplementation on the milk fatty acid profile of goats

  • P. Gómez-Cortés (a1), A. Cívico (a2), M. A. de la Fuente (a1), N. Núñez Sánchez (a2), F. Peña Blanco (a2) and A. L. Martínez Marín (a2)...


Milk fat composition can be modulated by the inclusion of lipid supplements in ruminant diets. An interaction between the lipid supplement and the forage to concentrate ratio or the type of forage in the rations may affect milk fat composition. However, little is known about the effects of the starch-to-non-forage NDF ratio in the concentrate and lipid supplementation of goat diets. The aim of this work was to determine the role of dietary carbohydrates in goats rations supplemented with linseed oil on animal performance and milk fatty acid (FA) profile. A total of 16 dairy goats were allocated to two simultaneous experiments (two treatments each), in a crossover design with four animals per treatment and two experimental periods of 25 days. In both experiments alfalfa hay was the sole forage and the forage to concentrate ratio (33:67) remained constant. The concentrate in experiment 1 consisted of barley, maize and soybean meal (concentrate rich in starch), whereas it included soybean hulls replacing 25% of barley and 25% maize in experiment 2 (concentrate rich in NDF). As a result, the starch-to-non-forage NDF ratio was 3.1 in experiment 1 and it decreased to 0.8 in experiment 2. Both concentrates were administered either alone or in combination with 30 g/day of linseed oil. Animal performance parameters were not affected by experimental treatments. In contrast, major changes were observed in milk FA profile due to lipid supplementation and the type of concentrate. Linseed oil significantly raised vaccenic and rumenic acids as well as α-linolenic acid and its biohydrogenation intermediates while decreased medium-chain saturated FA (12:0 to 16:0) in milk fat. Milk fat contents of odd and branched-chain FA and trans-10 18:1 responded differently to linseed oil supplementation according to the concentrate fed.


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