To evaluate the effects of heat stress (HS) conditions and dietary organic acid and pure botanical (OA/PB) supplementation on gut permeability and milk production, we enrolled 46 multiparous Holstein cows [208 ± 4.65 dry matter intake (DMI; mean ± SD), 3.0 ± 0.42 lactation, 122 ± 4.92 d pregnant, and 39.2 ± 0.26 kg of milk yield] in a study with a completely randomized design. Cows were assigned to 1 of 4 groups: thermoneutral conditions (TN-Con, n = 12), HS conditions (HS-Con, n = 12), thermoneutral conditions pair-fed to HS-Con (TN-PF, n = 12), or HS supplemented with OA/PB [75 mg/kg of body weight (BW); 25% citric acid, 16.7% sorbic acid, 1.7% thymol, 1.0% vanillin, and 55.6% triglyceride; HS-OAPB, n = 10]. Supplements were delivered twice daily by top-dress; all cows not supplemented with OA/PB received an equivalent amount of the triglyceride used for microencapsulation of the OA/PB supplement as a top-dress. Cows were maintained in thermoneutrality [temperature-humidity index (THI) = 68] during a 7-d acclimation and covariate period. Thereafter, cows remained in thermoneutral conditions or were moved to HS conditions (THI: diurnal change 74 to 82) for 14 d. Cows were milked twice daily. Clinical assessments and BW were recorded, blood was sampled, and gastrointestinal permeability measurements were repeatedly evaluated. The mixed model included fixed effects of treatment, time, and their interaction. Rectal and skin temperatures and respiration rates were greater in HS-Con and HS-OAPB relative to TN-Con. Dry matter intake, water intake, and yields of energy-corrected milk (ECM), protein, and lactose were lower in HS-Con relative to HS-OAPB.
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