The three weeks prior and three weeks after calving, known as the transition period, is the most critical for dairy cows. During this time, her metabolic needs increase dramatically and how she copes during this period will affect her lactation performance. One of the key essential nutrients needed by a dairy cow during this period is choline.
One of the primary roles of choline is the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine, an essential component of cell membranes. In addition, this phosphatidylcholine is required for the synthesis and secretion of molecules known as very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) in the liver. VLDL are important molecules necessary to avoid fat accumulation in the liver. Therefore, choline status is a key factor in alleviating the severity and incidence of fatty liver and may have some application in the transition management of dairy cows. Liver health is critical in ruminant production and longevity.
Unprotected sources of choline are extensively degraded in the rumen. In ruminant nutrition, choline is typically viewed as a nonessential component, despite indications that only up to 30% of the estimated required choline is provided by duodenal flow of choline (Erdman, 1991). Therefore, most of the choline required by dairy cows must be produced in the body with the energy cost associated to the different metabolic processes. The most efficient alternative is to provide a good source of rumen-protected choline.
To address this issue, Kemin developed CholiPEARL™, an encapsulated source of choline, manufactured using a proprietary spray-freezing technology. The spray-freezing offers optimum protection in the rumen while ensuring maximum release and better absorption in the small intestine.
As an essential part of phosphatidylcholine, choline is a key compound for proper liver function. Phosphatidylcholine is the main phospholipid in ruminants, and it is critical for lipid absorption and transport.
During the transition period, dairy cows are under stress due to the negative energy balance. As a result, body fats are mobilised to supply enough energy to the body. The body fats need to be transformed into VLDL in the liver in order to be used as an energy source by the different body tissues.
Due to the role of choline in VLDL secretion the recommended period for rumen-protected choline application is during the transition period, 3 weeks before and up to 3 months after calving.
Kemin’s CholiPEARL™ uses the revolutionary spray freezing technology with unique handling and releasing characteristics. Thanks to this technology, each step of the production process is controlled allowing us to optimise the production, delivering a rumen-protected product with optimum rumen protection and high bioavailability.