How to conduct flavour preference trials in dairy cows

Feed flavours are additives that are being increasingly used in animal nutrition as a tool to enhance both the smell and taste of feed, in order to improve feed intake. It is generally observed that a higher feed intake in animals leads to improved performance and consequently a higher return on investment. This potential of flavours to enhance feed
palatability and thus intake has generated a tremendous amount of interest in such additives. Livestock animals, and more particularly ruminants, have demonstrated sensitivity to variations in the smell and taste of the feed they are given, which directly influences their feeding behaviour.

Higher feed intake in dairy cows has been shown to improve energy balance during the early lactation period, and higher milk yield in the mid-lactation phase. Dairy farmers usually choose flavours that they believe are preferred by cows.

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