Acta Vet. Brno 2009, 78: 57-66

Performance and Metabolism of Dairy Cows Fed Bean Seeds (Vicia faba) with Different Levels of Anti-Nutritional Substances

Veronika Melicharová, Alena Pechová, Rudolf Dvořák, Leoš Pavlata

Clinic of Ruminant Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Czech Republic

Received May 22, 2008
Accepted December 15, 2008

The aim of this study was to determine the effect of selected bean cultivars with different levels of anti-nutritional substances on performance and metabolism of dairy cows. In the current twelve-week-long study, 32 dairy cows at 3 to 6 weeks after parturition were divided into four groups. Diets were balanced to have an analogical content of crude protein and energy. Experimental groups (MI, ME, MET) were mixed to the milking concentrate consisting of 20% bean seeds (MI - MISTRAL cultivar with a low content of anti-nutritional substances; ME - MERKUR cultivar with high content of anti-nutritional substances; MET - MERKUR cultivar with technologically reduced the amount of anti-nutritional substances). Clinical evaluation of dairy cows’ health and feed intake showed no negative effect of the bean supplementations. Energy, nitrogen and mineral metabolisms were not impaired either. No significant differences were found between groups in milk performance (daily milk yield, protein and lactose production) during the study. On the basis of these results, the bean can be used in 20% in the milking concentrate of dairy cattle. Health risks associated with anti-nutritional content of the native bean are not significant for high-producing dairy cattle.