Interaction of energy balance, feed efficiency, early lactation health events, and fertility in first-lactation Holstein, Jersey, and reciprocal F1 crossbred cows
Olson, K.M.; Cassell, B.G.; Hanigan, M.D.; Pearson, R.E.
Journal of Dairy Science 94(1): 507-511
First-lactation Holstein (HH), Jersey (JJ), and crossbred cows (HJ and JH, with sire breed listed first, followed by dam breed) were observed for cumulative energy intake (CEI15) and energy used for milk production (CEL15) at wk 15 of lactation in addition to recordings of health problems and pregnancy. Cumulative energy balance (CEB15) was calculated from CEI15 and estimates of expenditures at wk 15 of lactation. Feed efficiency (FE15) was calculated by dividing CEL15 by CEI15. Data included 140 cows with 43, 34, 41, and 22 in the HH, HJ, JH, and JJ groups, respectively. The first incidence of displaced abomasum (DA), ketosis (KET), mastitis (MAST), and metritis (MET) was recorded in the first 100 d of lactation with an incidence of the disease coded as 1 and no incidence coded as 0. Pregnancy (PREG) at d 150 was recorded as 1 if a cow had conceived by d 150 and 0 if she had not. Logistic regression was used to analyze health and fertility with fixed effects in the model including genetic group, linear and quadratic effects for age at calving, and year-season of freshening group. Pregnancy was analyzed with the same variables and the addition of CEB15. In other analyses, CEB15, CEI15, CEL15, and FE15 were response variables with the same explanatory variables plus health events (MAST, DA, MET, and KET), where each health event was a separate analysis. Genetic group effects were significant in the occurrence of MAST and a trend for MET, but were not significant for PREG, DA, and KET. Significant odds ratio for MAST was 19.6 for HJ cows when compared with that for HH cows. Thus, HJ cows were 19.6 times more likely than HH cows to have an incidence of MAST. The trend was for HJ and JH to have a lower odds ratio of MET than that of HH. No other genetic group effects were significant in any of the disease and PREG models. The linear and quadratic terms for age at calving were not significant. An occurrence of MAST decreased FE15 by 5.2±2.2%. Mastitis also decreased CEI15 and CEL15, but the compensatory reductions left the CEB15 unaffected. An occurrence of a DA decreased CEI15 and an incidence of KET decreased CEB15.