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J Dairy Sci. 2003 Apr;86(4):1405-14.

Effect of dietary cobalt supplementation on cobalt metabolism and performance of dairy cattle.

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Animal Sciences Department, Washington State University, Pullman 99164-6351, USA.


Three studies were conducted with dairy cattle fed diets with added Co. The first study examined cow age and added dietary Co on Co in liver and blood. Nonpregnant, nonlactating Holstein cows were blocked by age (2.5 or 6.5 yr) and assigned to either a control diet or a diet supplemented with 9 mg Co per day. The Co concentration of liver, taken on d 60, was not affected by dietary Co but was higher in the younger cows. The cytosolic fraction of liver contained the most Co, and the subcellular distribution of Co was not affected by total Co in liver. In a second study, Holstein cows were assigned to one of three treatments of dietary Co from 21 d prepartum until 120 d postpartum. There was an interaction of time x treatment x parity such that milk yield response to Co supplementation differed between multiparous cows and primiparous cows. Supplemental Co did not increase Co in serum, colostrum, milk, or liver. Primiparous cows secreted colostrum and milk with higher Co concentrations than did multiparous cows. Likewise, serum B12 levels were higher in primiparous than multiparous cows and declined with increasing days in milk (DIM). Serum Co also decreased from 7 to 120 DIM. In a final study, a Co supplement in the starter diet did not affect Co in serum or liver of young calves. In conclusion, supplemental dietary Co did not affect secretion of Co in milk, tissue retention, or subcellular distribution of Co within the liver. Primiparous and multiparous cows differed in their milk yield response to dietary Co supplementation.

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