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Metabolism of water, sodium, potassium, and chlorine by high yielding dairy cows at the onset of lactation

Metabolism of water, sodium, potassium, and chlorine by high yielding dairy cows at the onset of lactation

Journal of Dairy Science 80(5): 949-956

ISSN/ISBN: 0022-0302

PMID: 9178136

DOI: 10.3168/jds.s0022-0302(97)76019-3

We studied the balance of Na+, K+, Cl-, and water in six high yielding (> 39 kg/d of milk) cows between wk 2 to 1 prepartum and at 2 and 7 wk postpartum during winter in Israel. Cows were fed complete diets; Na+ and Cl- contents exceeded dietary recommendations, and K+ content was equal to dietary recommendations. Milk yield was related positively and significantly to retention of Cl- and K+, indicating that ions that are the main constituents of sweat can limit the ability of cows to express full genetic potential. The highest ion retention was recorded for cows that had the highest dry matter intake and, hence, the highest ion intake. Retention of Cl- was highest for cows that were most efficient in retaining Cl- in the kidney. In hot climates, increasing the concentrations of ions in the diet of early lactation cows according to the actual dry matter intake could prevent or reduce the severity of ion deficiencies. Water turnover rate of the cows was dependent on dry matter intake, milk yield, and respiratory-cutaneous water loss. The milk-free water balance (water turnover rate minus water secreted in milk) could be very efficiently predicted for lactating and nonlactating cows by the following equation: milk-free water balance (kilograms per day) = digestible energy intake (megacalories per day) x 0.58 + respiratory-cutaneous loss (kilograms per day) x 0.97 (n = 18; R2 = 0.97). This formula provides a tool to assess the evaporative-cutaneous water loss from feed and water intake measurements to evaluate the severity of heat stress.

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Accession: 002893576

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