What Does Optimum Vitamin Nutrition Mean to Me?

“Optimum Vitamin Nutrition (OVNTM) 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.  OVN is a sustainable way to achieve the optimum health and performance that you expect in your animals to produce better quality products with less waste for more sustainable farming.”—dsm-firmenich, 2022 Guidelines.

What is the process for creating new OVN guidelines?  First, an expert panel is convened, consisting of dsm-firmenich and university influencers, which reviews scientific literature, industry practices and current recommendations and especially changes.  For example, in the last several years, genetics experts in the poultry and swine segments have issued specific vitamin recommendations based on their own R-&-D and industry experiences. These discussions form the basis for a new set of recommendations, targeted for at least the next 5-10 years. Where applicable (ex. the new NASEM 2021 Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle, 8th Rev.), expert university guidelines are used as a starting point.

Since 1958, the OVN team has published and revised vitamin supplementation guidelines 10 times, based on scientific advances in nutrition, genetics, industry practices and objectives.  Guidelines cover all animal species, including broilers, layers, turkeys, ducks and exotic poultry, swine, dairy, beef, equine, sheep and goats, fish and shrimp, dogs and cats, rabbits, mink, and foxes.

What’s changed since the 2016 Guidelines were published?  First, production efficiency (amount of product produced per unit of feed intake) has improved in virtually every segment, which results in the need for higher micronutrient supplementation levels in feed to support a more productive animal.  For example, Figure 1 below shows the improvement in milk produced per cow in the US in the last 10 years; approximately a 1% increase per year.  That means for a given amount of feed, today’s higher-producing cows require more nutrition, including vitamins.

Secondly, new approved uses for vitamins, such as HyD® for dairy and beef in the US, or research advances in effective levels, such as vitamin E for meat quality or for immune support, result in improved guidelines for various livestock segments.  Lastly, production practices such as heat treatment for pathogen control or changes in pelleting temperature can result in changes for vitamin guidelines.  The new 2022 OVN guideline for ruminants includes dry calf starter as a new category, based on accepted management practices outline in the NASEM 2021 Dairy guidelines.  Also, emerging industry practices in organic production, wet/fresh pet foods, or processing changes can result in OVN revisions to keep in line modern production.

Below is a schedule for the new OVN guidelines along with links for those that are already available:

SpeciesRelease Month/YearLink (if available)
AquacultureJune 20222022 Aquaculture OVN guidelines
RuminantsJuly 20222022 Ruminants OVN guidelines
PoultryOctober 20222022 Poultry OVN guidelines
SwineOctober 2022
2022 Swine OVN guidelines

Published on

19 September 2022


  • Swine
  • Poultry
  • Ruminants
  • Aquaculture
  • Vitamins


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