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Revision of Vitamin E recommendations for dairy cows in organic agriculture: a review-based approach

Steinshamn, Håvard and Leiber, Florian (2023) Revision of Vitamin E recommendations for dairy cows in organic agriculture: a review-based approach. Biological Agriculture & Horticulture, 39, pp. 1-24.

[thumbnail of 01448765.2023.2200204_src=] HTML - Published Version - English
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


Document available online at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01448765.2023.2200204


Vitamin E is essential and supplementation to the diet is often needed to meet the requirements of farm animals. This is particularly relevant during long indoor periods where conserved forages must be fed, as conservation can degrade Vitamin E. However, synthetic vitamins are regarded as contentious inputs in organic agriculture. Therefore, the aim of this work was to evaluate if the standard recommendations for supplementation can be revised and adapted for organically managed dairy cows, on the basis of that the diets differ from those in conventional systems. A systematic literature review was conducted to assess the response to Vitamin E supplementation considering lactation and gestation stage and the composition of the basal diet. Most of the experiments that focused on animal health-related issues were conducted during late gestation and early lactation. In more recent studies reporting positive effects of Vitamin E supplementation on animal health and fertility, cows were fed conserved forages such as hay, haylage or maize silage, which all have low natural content of Vitamin E. In the studies reporting no or only minor positive effects of Vitamin E supplementation, cows were often fed diets based on grass or grass-clover silages, which reflects the structure of organic cattle diets. In conclusion, it was proposed that Vitamin E supplementation is not needed for mid and late lactating cows on pasture or fed a basal diet of grass-clover-silages. For dry and peripartum cows as well as for cows fed maize silage, hay or haylage, supplementation was strongly recommended

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Α-tocopherol, cattle, forages, organic livestock, requirements, synthetic vitamin, RELACS, Abacus, FiBL25054
Agrovoc keywords:
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Feeding and growth
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: European Union > Horizon 2020 > RELACS
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Animal > Animal nutrition
Norway > NIBIO – Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research
Horizon Europe or H2020 Grant Agreement Number:773431
Deposited By: Steinshamn, Dr Håvard
ID Code:45957
Deposited On:17 Apr 2023 07:30
Last Modified:17 Apr 2023 07:42
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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