The potential interaction between body condition score at calving and dietary starch content on productive and reproductive performance of early-lactating dairy cows
Sirjani, M.A.; Amanlou, H.; Mirzaei-Alamouti, H.; Shahir, M.H.; Mahjoubi, E.; Hasanlou, J.; Vazirigohar, M.; Opsomer, G.
Animal An International Journal of Animal Bioscience 2020: 1-8
ISSN/ISBN: 1751-732X PMID: 32100665 DOI: 10.1017/s1751731120000233
Improving reproductive performance is one of the most important factors affecting the profitability of dairy herds. This study investigated the effect of feeding a high starch (HS) diet and body condition score (BCS) at calving on blood metabolites, fertility and ovarian function and milk production in Holstein dairy cows. One hundred seventy-four multiparous cows were fed common close-up and early lactation diets during the first 15 days in milk (DIM). Cows were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 experimental diets from 16 until 50 DIM (n = 87 per group); normal starch (228 g/kg diet DM; NS) or HS (270 g/kg diet DM; HS) diets. Each treatment group was further subdivided based on BCS at calving as normal BCS (BCS ⩽ 3.5; normal BCS (NBCS); n = 45) or high BCS (HBCS) (BCS ⩾ 3.75; HBCS; n = 42). A significant difference was detected for increased milk production (47.24 v. 44.55 kg/day) and decreased milk fat (33.93 v. 36.33 g/kg) in cows fed HS or NS, respectively. Plasma glucose and insulin concentrations were significantly higher in cows fed the HS compared to the NS diet. Diets significantly affected DIM at first artificial insemination (AI, 79.51 ± 3.83 v. 90.40 ± 3.83 days for cows fed HS and NS diets, respectively). High BCS groups had greater milk fat content and elevated plasma nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA), β hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and bilirubin concentrations. In general, feeding higher starch diets to normal BCS cows during the first 50 DIM improved productive and reproductive performance of early-lactating dairy cows.