Today the emphasis of the Indian dairy farmer is primarily on the production efficiency of cattle. Farmers strive to increase the efficiency of their feeding programs and here one important area of nutrition to focus on is fats. It is well known that fat contains about 2¼ times more energy than carbohydrates. Fat can provide a quick fix for a diet that is deficient in energy. It makes sense to enhance the ration energy density by adding fat in feed, which could be particularly beneficial during hot weather. . Energy demands exceed energy intake for 80 to 100 days postpartum. Severe weight loss can lead to ketosis, fatty liver formation, reduced reproductive performance, and decreased milk yield. Cereal grains can provide an economical source of energy, but the excessive fermentable carbohydrate present in grains limit the amount that can be fed to animals. Due to all these challenges, the concept of Bypass fat comes in existence.
Dietary fat, which resists lipolysis and biohydrogenation in rumen by rumen microorganisms, but gets digested in lower digestive tract, is known as bypass fat or rumen protected fat or inert fat. Rumen by- pass or 'protected' fats are dry fats that are processed to be easily mixed into animal feeds. Because dry fats naturally have high melting points, they are mostly insoluble at rumen temperature. Ration of the high producing animals contain 4-6% fat which includes fat from natural feed, oil seed and by-pass fat in equal proportions. . The milk yield is increased along with the improvement in post-partum recovery of the body weight and body condition score and reproductive performance of the dairy animals. It is well-accepted that supplemental fat benefits herd reproductive performance by minimizing body weight loss and accelerating body weight gain after calving. A diet that is deficient in energy and other common feeds simply do not supply the required energy. Overfeeding of grains can cause ruminal acidosis. Rumen inert fats offer an alternative means of providing metabolizable energy to cows. Rumen bypass fats are absorbed in the small intestine and do not contribute to rumen microbial growth and fermentation. Dairy diets still must include carbohydrates such as cellulose, starch and sugars for the rumen microbes. Bypass fat also gives positive result in reproductive parameters of cattle. Most new cows find themselves in a negative energy balance for a number of weeks before and after freshening. Close-up cows that are energy deficient often develop poor ovarian follicles. The eggs in those follicles are the ones that will be presented for fertilization a couple of months later. The feeding of rumen bypass fats has shown positive signs in improving conception rates both because of improved follicular health at the time of ovulation and also because the cow has achieved a positive energy balance more quickly after freshening. Specific blends of essential fatty acids are fed to cows to aid in conception.
Essential fatty acids are those fats that are required for certain functions in a cow but are not made in large quantities. Therefore, they must be supplied through the diet. The inclusion of rumen-protected fats in dairy diets is not just about adding calories, anymore. They improve the overall health of a cow during crucial periods of transition and lactation, which will enhance the dairy’s bottom line through improved reproduction, as well as milk production.
Calcium Salts of Fatty Acids - A simple cost effective indigenous technology has been developed for the preparation of by-pass fat (Ca-LCFA) using vegetable fatty acids. Linoleic acid has been identified as one of the essential fatty acids that may have direct effects on reproductive function. In fact, higher linoleic acid levels are the basis for rumen protected fat product i.e. EnerFAT™ is promoted within the feed industry for its ability to improve reproductive performance. Calcium salts of fatty acids consist of fatty acids associated with a calcium ion instead of a glycerol backbone. When calcium is associated with unsaturated fatty acids, the fat supplement has different physical properties, like saturated fatty acids. It is solid at high temperatures and does not melt. Therefore, it has a low solubility in the rumen and is less susceptible to bio hydrogenation. Calcium salt products, just like other feed ingredients, can vary in their nutritional properties, including degree of rumen inertness and their resistance to bio hydrogenation. Manufacturing and post manufacturing processes differ greatly, which can lead to different physical forms and stability issues. Calcium salts of fatty acids permit the total dietary fatty acid digestibility to be high compared to other fat supplements.
Digestibility of palm fatty acids in calcium salts should be high whereas the value for hydrogenated palm fatty acids in triglycerides should be very low. The hydrogenated fat addition resulted in lower total fat digestion, whereas calcium salts of fatty acids significantly improved total dietary fat digestibility. Milk fat and feed efficiency (kilograms of milk per kilograms of feed intake) were significantly higher for the cows fed with calcium salts of fatty acids diet than for cows fed with hydrogenated fat diets. The diets supplemented with calcium salts have a significantly higher total fatty acid digestibility (J. Dairy Sci. 87:1446–1454c American Dairy Science Association, 2004.Digestible Energy Values of Diets with Different Fat Supplements when Fed to Lactating Dairy Cows* W. P. Weiss and D. J. Wyatt).
EnerFAT is a bypass fat that consists of saturated and unsaturated long chain fatty acids which helps in improving body condition score, reproductive performance, and in maintaining reproductive efficiency. It has low Peroxide Value (PV) and Thio Barbituric Acid (TBA) value which causes less rancidity. Research trials indicated that the Dry Matter Intake remained unchanged and the animal’s affinity to feed increased significantly. EnerFAT™ offers an economical solution to increase energy intake during lactation and ensures high milk yield. Its larger particle size with lesser surface area ensures faster rumen bypass. It escapes microbial activity which results in low bio-hydrogenation, thus provide more rumen production. It contains added flavor and sweetener to enhance taste and increase feed intake.