Effect of dry period length and dietary energy source on energy balance, milk yield, and milk composition of dairy cows

A.T.M. van Knegsel, G.J. Remmelink, S. Jorjong, V. Fievez, B. Kemp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of dry period length and dietary energy source in early lactation on milk production, feed intake, and energy balance (EB) of dairy cows. Holstein-Friesian dairy cows (60 primiparous and 108 multiparous) were randomly assigned to dry period lengths (0, 30, or 60 d) and early lactation ration (glucogenic or lipogenic), resulting in a 3 × 2 factorial design. Rations were isocaloric and equal in intestinal digestible protein. The experimental period lasted from 8 wk prepartum to 14 wk postpartum and cows were monitored for milk yield, milk composition, dry matter intake (DMI), energy balance, and milk fat composition. Prepartum average milk yield for 60 d precalving was 13.8 and 7.7 ± 0.5 kg/d for cows with a 0- and 30-d dry period, respectively. Prepartum DMI and energy intake were greater for cows without a dry period and 30-d dry period, compared with cows with a 60-d dry period. Prepartum EB was greater for cows with a 60-d dry period. Postpartum average milk yield until wk 14 was lower for cows without a dry period and a 30-d dry period, compared with cows with a 60-d dry period (32.7, 38.7, and 43.3 ± 0.7 kg/d for 0-, 30-, and 60-d dry period, respectively). Postpartum DMI did not differ among treatments. Postpartum EB was greater for cows without a dry period and a 30-d dry period, compared with cows with a 60-d dry period. Young cows (parity 2) showed a stronger effect of omission of the dry period, compared with a 60-d dry period, on additional milk precalving (young cows: 15.1 kg/d; older cows: 12.0 kg/d), reduction in milk yield postcalving (young cows: 28.6 vs. 34.8 kg/d; older cows: 41.8 vs. 44.1 kg/d), and improvement of the EB postcalving (young cows: 120 vs. -93 kJ/kg0.75·d; older cows: -2 vs. -150 kJ/kg0.75·d. Ration did not affect milk yield and DMI, but a glucogenic ration tended to reduce milk fat content and increased EB, compared with a more lipogenic ration. Reduced dry period length (0 and 30 d) increased the proportion of short- and medium-chain fatty acids in milk fat and omitting the dry period decreased the proportion of long-chain fatty acids in milk fat. In conclusion, shortening and omitting the dry period shifts milk yield from the postpartum to the prepartum period; this results in an improvement of the EB in early lactation. An increased energy status after a short dry period can be further improved by feeding a more glucogenic ration in early lactation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1499-1512
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume97
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • subsequent lactation
  • bovine somatotropin
  • metabolic status
  • transition cows
  • holstein cows
  • fatty-acids
  • performance
  • reproduction
  • management
  • profiles

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