Effect of Origanum vulgare L. leaves on rumen fermentation, production, and milk fatty acid composition in lactating dairy cows

A. N. Hristov, C. Lee, T. Cassidy, K. Heyler, J. A. Tekippe, G. A. Varga, B. Corl, R. C. Brandt

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42 Scopus citations

Abstract

This experiment investigated the effects of dietary supplementation of Origanum vulgare L. leaf material (OR) on rumen fermentation, production, and milk fatty acid composition in dairy cows. The experimental design was a replicated 4 × 4 Latin square with 8 rumen-cannulated Holstein cows and 20-d experimental periods. Treatments were control (no OR supplementation), 250. g/cow per day OR (LOR), 500. g/d OR (MOR), and 750. g/d OR (HOR). Oregano supplementation had no effect on rumen pH, volatile fatty acid concentrations, and estimated microbial protein synthesis, but decreased ammonia concentration and linearly decreased methane production per unit of dry matter intake (DMI) compared with the unsupplemented control: 18.2, 16.5, 11.7, and 13.6. g of methane/kg of DMI, respectively. Proportions of rumen bacterial, methanogen, and fungal populations were not affected by treatment. Treatment had no effect on total-tract apparent digestibility of dietary nutrients, except neutral detergent fiber digestibility was slightly decreased by all OR treatments compared with the control. Urinary N losses and manure odor were not affected by OR, except the proportion of urinary urea N in the total excreted urine N tended to be decreased compared with the control. Oregano linearly decreased DMI (28.3, 28.3, 27.5, and 26.7. kg/d for control, LOR, MOR, and HOR, respectively). Milk yield was not affected by treatment: 43.4, 45.2, 44.1, and 43.4. kg/d, respectively. Feed efficiency was linearly increased with OR supplementation and was greater than the control (1.46, 1.59, 1.60, and 1.63. kg/kg, respectively). Milk composition was unaffected by OR, except milk urea-N concentration was decreased. Milk fatty acid composition was not affected by treatment. In this short-term study, OR fed at 250 to 750. g/d decreased rumen methane production in dairy cows within 8. h after feeding, but the effect over a 24-h feeding cycle has not been determined. Supplementation of the diet with OR linearly decreased DMI and increased feed efficiency. Oregano had no effects on milk fatty acid composition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1189-1202
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of dairy science
Volume96
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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