Effects of dietary starch content and body condition score at calving on reproductive parameters in Holstein dairy cows
Sirjani, M.A.; Amanlou, H.; Mirzaei-Alamouti, H.; Shahir, M.H.; Hasanlou, J.; Opsomer, G.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine 196: 105488
ISSN/ISBN: 1873-1716 PMID: 34509098 DOI: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2021.105488
Nutritional modifications can potentially impact the reproductive performance and ultimately the economic results of dairy herds. The objectives were to investigate the effects of feeding a high starch (HS) diet and body condition score (BCS) at calving on reproductive responses and uterine health in Holstein dairy cows. One hundred seventy-four multiparous cows were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 experimental diets from 16 until 50 days in milk (DIM; n = 87 per group); normal starch (228 g/kg diet DM; NS) or high starch (270 g/kg diet DM; HS) diets. Each dietary treatment group was further subdivided based on BCS at calving as normal BCS (BCS ≤ 3.5; NBCS; n = 45) and high BCS (BCS ≥ 3.75; HBCS; n = 42). Transrectal ultrasonography was carried out at 10 DIM, and thereafter twice weekly until the onset of ovarian cyclicity or d 50 DIM. Feeding HS diet significantly affected the proportion of cows cycling by 30 and 40 DIM. Number of services per conception and calving interval (CI) were significantly improved in cows fed the HS compared to the NS diet (2.08 vs. 2.51 and 427.14 vs. 445.30 days for cows fed HS and NS diets, respectively). In summary, feeding higher starch diets from 16 till 50 DIM could be an effective strategy to improve the economic variables related to reproduction in dairy cows.