Beef Cattle Feeding and Nutrition by T. Perry, M. Cecava

By T. Perry, M. Cecava

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Vitamin A, per se, has not been identified in plants, and occurs only in animals. The most potent natural sources of vitamin A include various liver oils. I. Fat-Soluble Vitamins 27 Among fish, for example,vitamin A potency per gram of liver oil ranges from 65 IU for haddock to 600,000 for black sea bass. Cod liver, perhaps the most commonly used fish liver source of Vitamin A, contains about 600 IU per gram. Because the liver oils are so highly unsaturated, they are subject to oxidation which, in turn, rapidly destroys their vitamin A potency.

The rat quite efficiently converts carotene to vitamin A, whereas this process is limited in cats. , Holsteins convert carotene to vitamin A quite efficiently, whereas Guernseys are much less efficient. , 1957) first demonstrated that finishing steers receiving 20 mg carotene per day suffered typical vitamin A deficiency symptoms, while cattle fed similar diets plus 20,000 to 30,000 international units (IU) of crystalline vitamin A per head, daily, gained weight approximately 25% more rapidly and had no vitamin A deficiency symptoms.

As an example, feeding higher levels of concentrate or finely grinding forage in diets fed to dairy cows can reduce acetic acid production and result in milk fat depression. Most of the propionic acid that is absorbed from the gut is converted to glucose by the liver. A small amount may be metabolized to lactic acid by ruminal epithelium. Propionic acid is a precursor for about 80% of the glucose synthesized by the liver with amino acids and lactate being minor substrates for glucose synthesis.

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