Relation among body condition score, serum urea nitrogen and cholesterol concentrations, and reproductive performance in high-producing Holstein dairy cows in early lactation
Ruegg, P.L.; Goodger, W.J.; Holmberg, C.A.; Weaver, L.D.; Huffman, E.M.
American Journal of Veterinary Research 53(1): 10-14
ISSN/ISBN: 0002-9645 PMID: 1539900 Accession: 002205817
Body condition scoring (using a 5-point with quarter-point divisions) was performed on 66 Holstein dairy cows that began their second or later lactation in August, September, or October 1988. Cows' body condition was scored beginning on postpartum day 4 (+/- 1) and subsequently at postpartum days (+/- 1) 18, 32, 46, 60, 73 and 87. Blood samples were obtained on the same dates. Reproductive health examinations were conducted by 1 of 2 veterinarians beginning at postpartum day 21. Reproductive performance was evaluated in relation to body condition score and serum urea nitrogen and cholesterol concentrations. Number of days to first recorded signs of estrus and first breeding were not related to body condition score at calving, amount of condition loss, cumulative 80-day milk yield, or 305-day fat corrected milk yield. Cows that calved with body condition score greater than or equal to 3.50 required more days to conceive. Cows losing > 0.75 points of condition had longer days of conception. Body condition score at calving and amount of condition lost were not related to services per conception or diagnosis of follicular cyst. Cumulative 80-day milk yield was not related to days to conception or services per conception. Cows that produced greater than or equal to the mean 305-day milk yield required more services and had longer days to conception than cows that produced < the mean 305-day milk yield. Cows with diagnosis of ovarian follicular cysts had greater cumulative 80- and 305-day milk yields than did cows that were not diagnosed with follicular cysts. Cows conceiving with less than or equal to 2 services did not differ in average daily milk production, body condition score, or serum urea nitrogen concentration from cows conceiving with > 2 services, but cows that conceived with less than or equal to 2 services had higher serum cholesterol values than did cows requiring more services.