Milk Thistle (Silybum-Marianum L, Gaertn) in Feed Rations Administered to Ketotic Cows

Veterinarni Medicina 36, 1991, 321-330

Two comparative trials were performed, each with 16 cows which in the period of 2-6 weeks after parturition had 7.9 mg and more acetone in 1 litre of milk. The cows, crossbreds of the Czech Red-Pied cattle with the Holstein cattle, were divided into control and test groups, eight in each using the system of pairs. The cows of test groups were given for a fortnight feed rations containing a meal of milk thistle (Silybum marianum, L., Gaert.) seeds, at a rate of 0.3 kg per head/day with the contents of 2.34 % silybin and silydianin (substances of the so called silymarin complex of the flavonolignane group). In comparison with the control cows, in the blood and milk of the former ones a decrease was demonstrated in the sum of acetone + acetoacetic acid (up to P < 0.01) and beta-hydroxybutyric acid in the blood (up to P < 0.05). The ketonuria degree dropped remarkably. Although there were not observed any differences in the parameters of acid-base metabolism in the blood (pH, PCO2, BE, SB, BB), the pH values and net acid-base output in urine were higher in these cows. Milk production in the cows of control groups was decreasing during the trial (up to P 0.01), but in the test cows it was higher by 7.7 % (trial 1) and by 3.4 % (trial 2), in comparison with the milk yiled at the beginning of the trials. Differences in metabolism parameters and milk production in favour of the cows which were given milk thistle in their feed rations were observed even in a fortnight after the diet stopped to contain this ingredient

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