Effects of Zeolite Supplementation on Dairy Cow Production and Ruminal Parameters – A Review

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In recent years, the use of both natural and synthetic zeolites in livestock feeds fed to lactating cows has increased, mainly to improve their performance, health, and to protect against mycotoxins intoxication. Data of scientific literature were compiled to analyze the effects of the incorporation of non-nutritional adsorbent zeolite on production performance and ruminal environment parameters of lactating cows. At moderate levels (200–400 g/cow/day), milk yield was increased by zeolite. Milk fat and protein contents and DMI were not altered and all ruminal parameters were improved: acetate was enhanced, propionate was reduced and consequently, acetate to propionate ratio was increased. The rumen pH was increased and rumen ammonia nitrogen was reduced. When the level of zeolite exceeded 400 g/d/cow, all production and ruminal parameters were negatively altered. These data suggest that zeolite level in the diet has a significant effect on the response of dairy production and ruminal environment characteristics.

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