Lipid content and fatty acid composition of the digital cushion of bulls offered different amounts of linseed

L.G. Baird, L.E.R. Dawson, I.S. Young, Niamh O'Connell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
227 Downloads (Pure)


Previous research suggests that the digital cushion, a shock-absorbing structure in the claw, plays an important role in protecting cattle from lameness. This study aimed to assess the degree to which nutritional factors influence the composition of the digital cushion. This involved quantifying lipid content and fatty acid composition differences in digital cushion tissue from cattle offered diets with different amounts of linseed. Forty-six bulls were allocated to 1 of 4 treatments, which were applied for an average of 140 +/- 27 d during the finishing period. The treatments consisted of a linseed supplement offered once daily on top of the basal diet (grass silage:concentrate) at 0, 400, 800, or 1,200 g of supplement/animal per day. For each treatment, the concentrate offered was adjusted to ensure that total estimated ME intake was constant across treatments. Target BW at slaughter was 540 kg. Legs were collected in 3 batches after 120, 147 and 185 d on experiment. Six samples of the digital cushion were dissected from the right lateral hind claw of each animal. Lipids were extracted and expressed as a proportion of fresh tissue, and fatty acid composition of the digital cushion was determined by gas chromatography. Data were analyzed by ANOVA, with diet, location within the digital cushion, and their interactions as fixed effects and fat content (grams per 100 g of tissue) as a covariate. Linear or quadratic contrasts were examined. The lipid content of digital cushion tissue differed between sampling locations (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2403-2409
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number7
Early online date09 Apr 2010
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Food Science
  • Genetics


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