Relationships between Milk Progesterone Profiles and Genetic Merit for Milk Production, Milking Frequency, and Feeding Regimen in Dairy Cattle

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Abstract

Milk progesterone profiles were determined from samples obtained twice weekly for 100 d postpartum in 100 Holstein primiparous cows at a Dutch experimental farm. Three treatments were applied in a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial arrangement with high-low genetic merit for overall production, high-low caloric density diet, and 23 times milking/ day as factors. Milk progesterone profiles were characterized by start of first ovarian cyclical activity (commencement of luteal activity, C-LA), length and peak milk progesterone concentration of first ovarian cycle, and number of ovarian cycles in first 100 d postpartum, as well as classified into normal, delayed, prolonged, and interrupted ovarian cyclical activity. Cows with a greater milk production had lower peak progesterone concentrations, especially if the high milk production was caused by milking 3 times a day. A more negative energy and protein balance was associated with later C-LA and less ovarian cycles within 100 d postpartum. Relationships between protein balance and C-LA differed between cows with a high genetic merit and a low genetic merit. Cows with a high genetic merit for production showed delayed C-LA with more negative protein balances, whereas this association was not observed among cows with a low genetic merit. Cows in negative energy balance had greater risk for prolonged ovarian cycles when there was no delay in CLA than when C-LA was delayed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2874-2884
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume91
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • body condition score
  • energy-balance
  • luteal activity
  • reproductive-performance
  • endocrine parameters
  • random regression
  • production traits
  • health disorders
  • herd environment
  • fertility traits

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