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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2009;22(11): 1513-1520.
https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2009.80665    Published online October 21, 2009.
Effects of Prepartum Dietary Carbohydrate Source on Metabolism and Performance of Primiparous Holstein Cows during the Periparturient Period
H. R. Mirzaei Alamouti, H. Amanlou, K. Rezayazdi, A. Towhidi
Forty-six Holstein heifers were used in a completely randomized design and assigned to 1 of 2 treatments to evaluate the effects of 2 diets varying in ruminal fermentable carbohydrate sources, namely ground corn (GC) and rolled wheat (RW), on metabolism and performance of primiparous cows in the periparturient period. The heifers were fed diets as a total mixed ration (TMR) with similar energy and crude protein content including i) 18.57% GC, or ii) 18.57% RW from -24.137.73 d relative to expected calving until calving. After calving, all animals received the same lactation diet until 28 d. Animals were group fed from the beginning of the study to -7 d relative to expected calving, fed individually from d -7 to 7 days in milk (DIM), and again group fed to 28 DIM. The pre-partum diets affected (p<0.05) dry matter intake (DMI), energy intake, energy balance (EB) and urinary pH during the last week pre-partum. There was no effect of pre-partum carbohydrate source on overall plasma concentration of glucose, nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA), -hydroxybutyrate (BHBA), albumin, triglyceride (TG), cholesterol, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), insulin, and cortisol during the periparturient period. Cows fed the RW diet during the pre-partum period had greater calcium for the first week (p<0.05) and during 28 d (p = 0.08) of lactation compared with heifers fed the GC diet. Primiparous cows fed the RW diet produced greater milk protein content and yield (p<0.05). Primiparous cows fed the RW diet had lower milk urea nitrogen (MUN) and somatic cell count (SCC) than cows fed the GC diet (p<0.05). The results of this study show that feeding pre-partum diets with a rapidly fermentable source of starch but low energy content can improve animal metabolism and performance and smooth the transition of primiparous Holstein cows from gestation to lactation.
Keywords: Periparturient Period; Rapidly Fermentable Carbohydrates; Primiparous Cows

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