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Effects of two different feeding strategies during dry-off on metabolism in high-yielding dairy cows


Effects of two different feeding strategies during dry-off on metabolism in high-yielding dairy cows



Journal of Dairy Science 88(6): 2072-2082



ISSN/ISBN: 0022-0302

PMID: 15905438

DOI: 10.3168/jds.s0022-0302(05)72884-8

The objectives of this study were to investigate different feeding strategies of high-yielding dairy cows during dry-off. With a 12- to 13-mo calving interval and increasing milk yield, metabolic and health problems during the dry-off period will increase. Twenty-two dairy primiparous and multiparous cows were randomly assigned to 2 feeding treatments. One group was fed straw ad libitum (straw), and the other group was fed silage (4 kg/d of dry matter) daily and straw ad libitum (silage). At the dry-off point (d 0), the cows had an average milk yield of 17.1 +/- 0.8 kg/d. All cows were milked in the morning on d 3 and 5 during the dry-off period. Rumen fluid was analyzed for volatile fatty acids (VFA), pH, NH3-N, and protozoa were counted from samples collected at d -3, 4, and 17. Total VFA concentration decreased at dry-off in both treatments and the drop was most pronounced among cows fed straw. Rumen pH increased significantly in both groups, and cows fed straw had significantly higher pH during dry-off. Ammonia N in rumen decreased significantly at dry-off and there was a tendency to lowered NH(3)-N in cows fed straw at dry-off. The plasma concentration of nonesterified fatty acids was markedly elevated during the dry-off period among cows in the straw treatment group, but was less pronounced among the cows fed silage with straw. The glucose level in plasma was not significantly affected during the dry-off period, and the insulin concentration was markedly reduced in both treatment groups. Plasma leptin concentration was lower in the lactating state than in the dry period. Both the beta-hydroxybutyrate and urea concentrations in plasma were significantly reduced during dry-off. Our results indicate that dry-off markedly affected the metabolism in the blood and in the rumen of the cows, and that the cows offered only straw during the dry-off were most affected.

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Accession: 013115801

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