Nutrition and management of periparturient dairy cattle

Project: PhD

Project Details


The transition from dry period to early lactation is a very complex period for the dairy cow, while at the same time it is the prerequisite for an uncomplicated lactation. Measures such as the prevention of over-conditioning during the dry period, combined with maintaining adequate energy intake around calving, do not have a consistently positive effect (Hayirli et al., 2002; Dann et al., 2006). This variability may be due to individual differences in body condition, feed intake, diet composition and environmental influences that all may influence the success of the transition period, but the precise mechanisms are still unclear (Drackley, 2006; Nielsen et al., 2010). The adaptation of dry cow metabolism to the metabolic requirements of milk production still requires improvement in order to increase cow performance during lactation. This research project aims to improve cow performance in early lactation by prepartum metabolic adaptation. The main focus for metabolic adaptation is the liver, as it plays a key role in the coordination of energy metabolism. It is hypothesized that starting adaptation of the metabolic pathways of lipid mobilization and processing during the final weeks of pregnancy may improve lipid metabolism and hepatic function in early lactation and reduce the negative effects of a NEB. Three strategies for adaptation during the dry period will be tested: - Increasing energy output by physical exercise - Increasing energy ouput by shortening or omitting the dry period - Reducing energy input by restricting feed intake
Effective start/end date1/01/1015/12/23


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