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Article

Effect of an Essential Oil Blend on Dairy Cow Performance during Treatment and Post-Treatment Periods

1
Animal and Fish Production Department, College of Agricultural and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, P.O. Box 420, Al-Ahsa 31982, Saudi Arabia
2
Department of Animal and Fish Production, Faculty of Agriculture (Saba Basha), University of Alexandria, Alexandria 21531, Egypt
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Department of Food and Nutrition Sciences, College of Agricultural and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, P.O. Box 420, Al-Ahsa 31982, Saudi Arabia
4
Department of Animal and Fish Production, Faculty of Agriculture (El-Shatby), University of Alexandria, Alexandria 21545, Egypt
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9123; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12219123
Received: 24 August 2020 / Revised: 17 October 2020 / Accepted: 29 October 2020 / Published: 2 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Sustainable Livestock Production)
Essential oils (EOs) and their active components are attracting a lot of attention as sustainable feed additives due to their known antimicrobial properties against a variety of microorganisms, including bacteria, protozoa, and fungi. They also have biological therapeutic, antioxidant, and flavor properties. They can be used for modifying the rumen environment and improving animal productivity. The present study was designed to investigate the effect of supplementation with 2.5 and 5 g/head/day of an essential oils blend (EOB) of clove, oregano, and juniper in equal proportions on milk production and quality, and physiological status of early lactating Holstein dairy cows for 8 weeks of treatment followed by 8 weeks of posttreatment. The results revealed an improvement in milk yield (p ≤ 0.02) and feed efficiency (p ≤ 0.001) with EOB at a dose of 2.5 g/head/day. The percentages of milk protein and lactose were increased (p ≤ 0.03) with a high dose of EOB inclusion during the treatment period as compared with the control group. Milk fat percentage, fat-corrected milk, and energy-corrected milk were not significantly affected by EOB supplementation. The supplementation of EOB tended to decrease milk total bacterial and somatic cell counts when compared to the control group. The supplementation of EOB at both doses increased serum total protein (p ≤ 0.02) and globulin (p ≤ 0.05), and decreased cholesterol level (p ≤ 0.001) and creatinine (p ≤ 0.001) as compared to the control group. Furthermore, the results show that the low dose of EOB had more desirable effects on milk yield, milk total bacterial count, milk somatic cell count, and feed efficiency than the high dose, suggesting that lower doses may not inhibit rumen microbial populations. Moreover, the low doses of EOB could be used as sustainable natural alternatives to antibiotics in livestock diets. View Full-Text
Keywords: essential oil blend; milk production; milk constituents; feed efficiency; alternative feed additives; dairy cows essential oil blend; milk production; milk constituents; feed efficiency; alternative feed additives; dairy cows
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MDPI and ACS Style

Al-Suwaiegh, S.B.; Morshedy, S.A.; Mansour, A.T.; Ahmed, M.H.; Zahran, S.M.; Alnemr, T.M.; Sallam, S.M.A. Effect of an Essential Oil Blend on Dairy Cow Performance during Treatment and Post-Treatment Periods. Sustainability 2020, 12, 9123. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12219123

AMA Style

Al-Suwaiegh SB, Morshedy SA, Mansour AT, Ahmed MH, Zahran SM, Alnemr TM, Sallam SMA. Effect of an Essential Oil Blend on Dairy Cow Performance during Treatment and Post-Treatment Periods. Sustainability. 2020; 12(21):9123. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12219123

Chicago/Turabian Style

Al-Suwaiegh, Shaker B., Sabrin A. Morshedy, Abdallah T. Mansour, Mohamed H. Ahmed, Soliman M. Zahran, Tareq M. Alnemr, and Sobhy M.A. Sallam 2020. "Effect of an Essential Oil Blend on Dairy Cow Performance during Treatment and Post-Treatment Periods" Sustainability 12, no. 21: 9123. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12219123

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