2022 Optimum Vitamin Nutrition Guidelines for Ruminants

Understanding the purpose, function, and vital importance that vitamins play in animal health and performance has been an ongoing area of focus. When investigating the specific roles of vitamin metabolism by species and stage of production, the first task in early to mid-20th century was to establish minimum requirement levels needed to avoid deficiency clinical signs and, in most cases, recommendations are still based off of decades old research.

In the U.S. livestock industry in the last several decades, the trend for producing more meat, milk and eggs continues to climb. In beef and dairy alone, the number of advancements and developments in technologies has contributed greatly to improvements in genetics, animal performance, and overall efficiencies in production. The importance of understanding the impact that these influences can have on animal nutrient requirements and supporting optimal performance is dsm-firmenich’s primary focus.

Vitamin supplementation guidelines by dsm-firmenich, formerly Roche, has been available for the last 70 years and has been reviewed and updated several times by invited recognized experts in their respective fields to address appropriate vitamin requirements specifically considering maintenance, growth, breeding and production and ultimately where the Optimum Vitamin Nutrition (OVN) concept was developed.

Optimum Vitamin Nutrition (OVN) concept is about feeding animals the right amounts of high-quality vitamins produced with the lowest environmental footprint, appropriate to their life stage and growing conditions to optimize animal health, productivity, food quality and nutritional value.

Most recently, the new 2022 OVN recommendations were announced and changes were made to account for industry and regulatory changes and new scientific research in how higher vitamin intake can better support immune system modulation, bone health, etc. 

To announce the new OVN vitamin supplementation guidelines for the ruminant industry, a webinar titled, “Are ruminants receiving the right level of vitamins?” was held on July 7, 2022. Presenters were Dr. Mark Engstrom, Vitamin Manager, Essential Products, dsm-firmenich North America and Dr. Bill Weiss, Professor at Ohio State University. Dr. Engstrom reviewed recent data supporting OVN vitamin recommendation changes and Dr. Weiss addressed changes to the 2021 NASEM dairy nutrition standards.

To view a recording of the webinar click here.

To summarize some of the key highlights in the 2022 OVN recommendation update:

  • New production segment for dry calf starter for dairy heifers to address supplemental vitamin A needed when transitioning calves from milk replacer to starter feed.
  • Adjustments to vitamin A, D, and E levels for calves, pre-fresh heifers, and dairy cows due to updated research that are also reflected in 2021 NASEM recommendations.
  • New recommendations for 25-OH-D (HyD) in dairy replacement heifers, close-up cows, and cows through lactation.
  • New recommendation for biotin in lactating and close-up dairy cows in addition to heifers, dry cows, beef cows and bulls, feedlot, and sheep and goats.
  • New recommendation for niacin in pre-fresh dairy heifers.

To view 2022 OVN recommendation chart for ruminants click here.

For more information, please contact a dsm-firmenich representative.

Published on

15 August 2022



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