Lactating cows naturally have limitations on dry matter intake and always have issues on feed intake. Therefore the digestibility of diets fed to dairy cows are reduced with increased feed intake. (Tyrell and Moe, 1975).
This reduces the energy value of any given diet as the feed intake increases. This is particularly important especially in milk producing cows, where it is uncommon for feed intake to exceed 4 times its maintenance level. The decline rate in digestibility with level of feeding has been proven to be related to digestibility of the diet at the maintenance level (Wagner& Loosli, 1967).
To be profitable from dairy farm operations, it is imperative to maximize the energy intake of dairy cows and minimize the negative energy balance.
For that, using fat supplements in the ruminant’s diet must be introduced. This is where energy density of the diet is increased (fat contains 2.25 times the energy carbohydrates, McDonald et al., 2010).
Saturated fats or more commonly known as rumen bypass which is powdered fat from plant base products are the most reliable source of fat as it will not depress the fiber digestion and is not toxic to the rumen bacteria. Unlike hydrogenation, Rumifat is produced under fractionation and does not impose any drawback as hydrogenation fat would, which results in many health risk affecting the animals.
Rumifat is a powdered form of fat, that is high in Palmitic acid, therefore it will only dissociate until it reaches the abomasum, which then transforms into fatty acids.
FATS & LIPIDS
Fats, is an organic compound that is made up of carbon, hydrogen & Oxygen. It belongs to a group called lipids and comes in either liquid or solid format. All fats are a combination of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Lipids are a source of essential fatty acids that are essential to the maintenance and integrity of the cellular membrane that is required for optimal lipid transport. It also serves as precursors of the prostaglandin hormones. Lipids are an important source of metabolic energy(ATP). In fact, lipids are the most energy rich class of nutrients.
WHY USE FAT?
To increase efficiency of energy utilization for milk production.
Increase energy intake when dry matter intake is limited.
SO WHAT ARE FATTY ACIDS?
They are natural occurring fats and oils that are a composition of mixed triglycerides where glycerol is esterified with different types of fatty acids.
WHAT IS A RUMEN?
Also known as a paunch, it forms the larger part of reticulorumen, which is the 1st chamber in the alimentary canal of ruminant animals. It serves as a primary site for microbial fermentation of ingested feed.