Abstract #W9

# W9
Preference of flavored concentrate premixes by dairy cows.
Michael T. Harper*1, Joonpyo Oh1, Fabio Giallongo1, Juliana C. Lopes1, Alexander N. Hristov1, Joelle Faugeron2, 1The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, 2Pancosma, Geneva, Switzerland.

Flavor preferences may stimulate feed intake in dairy cows, which may improve energy balance in early lactation and lead to increased milk production. A cafeteria experiment was designed to determine if dairy cows have flavor preferences. Sixteen lactating Holstein cows averaging 197 ± 32 DIM, 1.9 ± 0.8 lactations, 27.8 ± 4.2 kg/d DMI, and 41.5 ± 7.4 kg/d milk yield were involved in the experiment. Cows were offered 7 flavored and a control concentrate premixes (FCP). The FCP flavors were: anise, fenugreek, honey, orange, thyme, molasses, vanilla, and the absence of flavor acted as a control. The inclusion rate of the flavors in FCP was 250 to 300 g/t, as-is basis. Cows were not adapted to the flavors before the experiment. Cows were housed in a tie-stall barn and were offered each d 4 different FCP of 1 kg each in plastic bins placed in front of each cow. The duration of the experiment was 6 consecutive days. Each FCP was presented to each cow once every 2 d, 2 h after the morning feeding. Thus, each flavor was presented to each cow 3 times during the experiment. Flavors and position of the bins in front of the cows were randomized. Each cow had access to the FCP for 5 min from the time they started eating. Eating times were recorded. Amount consumed and rate of FCP consumption were analyzed using the MIXED procedure of SAS with cow as random effect. The vanilla and fenugreek FCP were consumed the most (P = 0.03) at 408 and 371 g per 5 min offering, respectively, while the orange and anise FCP were consumed the least at 264 and 239 g, respectively. Similarly, cows spent the most (P = 0.002) time eating the vanilla and fenugreek FCP at 99 and 75 s, respectively, and the least amount of time eating the orange and anise FCP at 49 and 50 s, respectively. There was an effect of bin position with the 2 center FCP being consumed more (P < 0.001) than the outer 2 FCP. There was a trend for flavor by bin position interaction (P = 0.07) for the amount consumed, but not (P = 0.11) for the time spent eating. Flavor had no effect on consumption rate. In conclusion, dairy cows may prefer vanilla or fenugreek flavors, when offered a novel choice.

Key Words: feed intake, flavor preference, dairy cow