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Access to outside areas during march and april in Denmark has negligible effect on the vitamin D3 status of organic dairy cows

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  • Lone Hymøller
  • Louise Karoline Mikkelsen
  • Søren Krogh Jensen
  • Mette Benedicte Olaf Nielsen
  • Ole Aaes
Use of artificial fat-soluble vitamins in feed for dairy cows does not conform to organic production principles. Therefore sunlight is the only natural source of vitamin D3 for organic dairy coes. In order to establish the effect of sunlight on the vitamin D3 status of high yielding dairy cows in spring when sunlight is scarce, 78 Danish Holstein cows from two different organic farms (farm 1 and farm 2) were blood sampled four times between November 2005 and April 2006. Use of artificial vitamin D3 supplements in feed was terminated prior to first blood sampling and the cows in each herd were divided into two groups: one with access to outside areas during March and April (outdoor group), and one kept in confinement during the same period (indoor group). Blood samples were analysed for the major circulating metabolite of vitamin D3, 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3), as an indicator for the vitamin D3 status of the cows. The effects of treatment and sampling time in March and April were analysed together with the interaction between treatment and sampling time. Results from this survey showed that sunlight in March and April in Denmark can not efficiently stimulate endogenous synthesis of vitamin D3 in dairy cows.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftActa Agriculturae Scandinavica. Section A. Animal Science
Vol/bind58
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)51-54
Antal sider4
ISSN0906-4702
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2008

ID: 9563585