BS in Dairy Science
Dairy Science Department
The objective of this study was to determine if supplementing transition rations with the Omega system produced by Virtus Nutrition could improve breeding efficiency in jersey cattle, with a focus on the summer months of the California central valley. Beginning in March of 2011 the rations for the close up pen, all animals 21 days and under pre-fresh, was supplemented with Prequel21 at a rate to supply each animal with .25 pounds daily. When those animals that were supplemented during the pre-fresh period began calving, the ration for the fresh pen was supplemented with the rumen bypass fatty acid StrataG at .34 pounds daily. Data on conception rates was collected from the previous three years to be compared to the results of the study, the rates were broken down by year, lactation, month and summer to see where improvements would possibly be recorded. The supplementation was kept in the ration until November 2011 when the new data from the study was collected and compared. Conception rates during the summer did increase above the average from the previous three years (2008, 2009, 2010), but very little difference is seen between 2010 and 2011. Additionally, average milk at week 4 and week 8 were monitored so see if any difference was realized. Week 4 milk averages saw as much as 12% increase from March to August 2011, peaking as high as 59.1 pounds. Week 8 milk also rose as much as 12% getting to 64 pounds. The similarity in 2010 and 2011 with regard to conception rate is likely due to the previous transition supplementation being implemented during the summer of the 2010-year. The study was helpful for the dairy by aiding the overall efficiency of the herd, however, alternate studies might be more desirable. To get a better idea if the supplementation was actually doing what it claims to do, a side-by-side study would be a better fit. This would ensure that there are as few variables affecting results as possible. With a side by side both groups would have the same weather and same time period so the only thing different between them would be the supplementation in one groups ration.