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J Dairy Sci. 2010 Sep;93(9):4239-51. doi: 10.3168/jds.2010-3058.

Effects of feeding organic trace minerals on milk production and reproductive performance in lactating dairy cows: a meta-analysis.

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SBScibus, PO Box 660, Camden 2570, NSW, Australia.


The objectives of this meta-analysis were to evaluate the effectiveness of supplementation with the organic trace minerals (OTM; Availa-4 and 4-Plex, Zinpro Corp., Eden Prairie, MN) on milk yield, composition, and component yields and reproductive performance in dairy cows. Twenty research papers and reports on the effects of OTM were considered in this meta-analysis. Criteria for inclusion in the study were information on the form of OTM, an adequate description of randomization, production and reproduction data, and associated measures of variance (SE or SD) and P-values. The OTM increased milk production by 0.93 kg [95% confidence interval (CI)=0.61 to 1.25], milk fat by 0.04 kg (95% CI=0.02 to 0.05), and milk protein by 0.03 kg (95% CI=0.02 to 0.04) per day. Milk SCC was not different in cows supplemented with OTM. All production outcomes except milk solids (yield) and milk SCC were heterogeneous. Meta-regression analysis showed that feeding before calving, feeding for a full lactation after calving, and the use of other supplements increased responses over feeding after calving only, feeding for part of lactation, or not using other supplements, respectively. Supplementation of cows with OTM reduced days open (weighted mean difference=13.5 d) and number of services per conception (weighted mean difference=0.27) in lactating dairy cows. The risk of pregnancy on d 150 of lactation was greater in cows fed OTM (risk ratio=1.07), but OTM had no significant effect on the interval from calving to first service and 21-d pregnancy rate. There was no evidence of heterogeneity for any of the reproductive outcomes evaluated. The results of this meta-analysis showed that organic trace mineral supplementation could improve production and reproduction in lactating dairy cows.

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