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Reprod Domest Anim. 2011 Sep;46 Suppl 3:11-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0531.2011.01851.x.

Dry period management and optimization of post-partum reproductive management in dairy cattle.

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1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Uludag, Bursa, Turkey. agumen@uludag.edu.tr

Abstract

Dry period and early post-partum management are decisive factors for fertility in lactating dairy cows. Previous studies have shown that decreased dry matter intake (DMI) and increased non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) negatively affect fertility and subsequent milk production. The traditional dry period decreases DMI prior to parturition, resulting in a decrease in energy intake. A negative energy balance increases NEFA concentration, and increased NEFA may impair the immune system, especially by decreasing neutrophil function prior to parturition. Earlier studies have shown that post-partum health disorders, including retained placenta and metritis, were correlated with periparturient neutrophil function. In addition, decreased DMI is also linked to a reduced body condition score (BCS) in dairy cows. These events in the periparturient period negatively affect fertility. Some manipulation, such as shortening the dry period, may be a solution to increased DMI in the periparturient period, preventing post-partum disorders and subsequent fertility issues. This article aims to explain the effects of shortening the dry period on reproduction and early post-partum treatments to improve fertility. In addition, timed artificial insemination protocols will be discussed for use during the post-partum period to improve fertility in dairy cows.

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