Mathematical modeling of B-vitamin supply in dairy cows

The B vitamin requirements of cattle were traditionally satisfied via rumen microbial synthesis. However, the B vitamin demands of the modern high producing dairy cow now exceed the synthesis rate by rumen microbes, leading to sub-optimal milk production and efficiency. An increased understanding of dietary factors driving ruminal synthesis and use of B vitamins will help identify when supplementation will benefit the cow. Although B vitamin kinetics in the dairy cow have not previously been modelled, data on concentrations and flows are available from extant sources. This information will be used to develop models in order to increase our overall understanding of the factors affecting B vitamin synthesis in the rumen. Such a model will support the development of nutritional strategies to meet modern dairy cow requirements for B vitamins, delivering improved metabolic efficiency and health.

Douglas Castagnino
Faculty Supervisor: 
James France
Partner University: