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Field trial on the relationship of blood metabolites and body condition score with the recurrence of luteal activity in Estonian Holstein cows.

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1
Institute of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Kreutzwaldi 1, 51014 Tartu, Estonia. katri.ling@emu.ee

Abstract

Associations of body condition scores and blood metabolites, measured before calving and at different periods during early lactation, with recurrence of luteal activity were investigated in a 250-head commercial dairy farm during a 4-year period (1999-2002). The study was conducted on 48 dairy cows (60 lactations) with average 305-day milk yield of 8149 kg per cow. Blood samples taken 1-14 days before calving and 1-14, 28-42 and 63-77 days after calving were analysed for aspartate aminotransferase, glucose, ketone bodies, triglycerides, non-esterified fatty acids and cholesterol. Milk progesterone (P(4)) profiles (samples collected twice a week, P(4) levels measured in whole milk by enzyme immunoassay) were used to evaluate the interval from calving to first luteal response, P(4) >5 ng/ml, and the interval from calving to first normal cycle. The MIXED procedure of the sas system was used to study the association of investigated parameters. A higher concentration of ketone bodies before calving was associated with shorter interval to recurrence of first normal cycle (P = 0.007) and tended to be related to shorter interval from calving to first luteal response (P = 0.071). A lower prepartum aminotransferase activity showed a tendency to be associated with shorter interval from calving to first luteal response (P = 0.084). Results suggest metabolic status up to 2 weeks prepartum to be related to the resumption of postpartum luteal activity in Estonian Holstein dairy cows.

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