Performance of lactating dairy cows fed diets containing mixtures of essential oils

The objective with the current study was to evaluate the effects of a commercial mixture of essential oils (capsaicin, eugenol, cinnamaldehyde, and carvacrol) microencapsulated with increasing inclusions (0, 1.5, 3.0 and 4.0g/day) on intake, digestibility, performance and milk composition of 20 primiparous Holstein cows confined in sand-bedded stalls. There was no interaction between treatment and observation periods, and the effect of treatments was not significant (P>0,05) for dry matter intake, expressed as % body weight (BW) and kg/day; crude protein (% BW); ether extract (% BW); neutral detergent fiber; acid detergent fiber (% BW); dry matter digestibility (%); crude protein (%); ether extract (%); neutral detergent fiber (%); milk production (kg); milk fat (%); milk protein (%); lactose (%); total solids (%); nonfat dry extract (%); somatic cell count (log); and urea nitrogen (mg/dL). However, evaluating each period, a significant decrease (P<0,05) on milk production, and an increase in total solids concentrations (%) were observed. There was no difference (P>0,05) for total solids levels (%) and somatic cell count (log). We concluded that the use of essential oils containing capsaicin, eugenol, cinnamaldehyde and carvacrol does not affect intake, digestibility, and milk production and composition of primiparous Holstein cows.

capsaicin; carvacrol; cinnamaldehyde; eugenol

UFBA - Universidade Federal da Bahia Avenida Adhemar de Barros nº 500 - Ondina , CEP 41170-110 Salvador-BA Brasil, Tel. 55 71 32836725, Fax. 55 71 32836718 - Salvador - BA - Brazil