Mammary Performance of First Lactation Bali Cows (Bibos banteng) Fed Grass-Legume Based Diets in Relation to the Role of Glucose

  • Sukarini, I.A.M. (Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Bogor Agricultural University) ;
  • Sastradipradja, Djokowoerjo (Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Bogor Agricultural University) ;
  • Nusada, N. (Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Animal Husbandry, Udayana University) ;
  • Mahardika, I.G. (Department of Animal Nutrition, Faculty of Animal Husbandry, Udayana University) ;
  • Kiranadi, B. (Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Bogor Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2000.08.25
  • Accepted : 2000.11.27
  • Published : 2001.05.01


A study of mammary function in relation to glucose metabolism of first lactation Bali cows on grass-legume diets was carried out using 12 primiparous cows (initial BW $263.79{\pm}21.66kg$) for 16 weeks starting immediately post calving. The animals were randomly allocated into 4 dietary treatment groups R1, R2, R3 and R4, receiving from the last 2 months of pregnancy onwards, rations based on a mixture of locally available grass and legume feed ad libitum. On a DM basis R1 contained 70% elephant grass (PP, Penicetum purpureum) plus 30% Gliricidia sepia leaves (GS), R2 was 30% PP plus 25% GS supplemented with 55% Hibiscus tilliacius leaves (HT, defaunating effect), R3 and R4 were 22.5% PP+41.25% GS+11.25% HT+25% concentrate, with R4 supplemented with zinc-diacetate. TDN, CP and zinc contents of the diets were 58.2%, 12.05% and 18.3 mg/kg respectively for R1, 65.05%, 16.9% and 25.6 mg/kg respectively for R2, 66.03%, 16.71% and 29.02 mg/kg respectively for R3 and 66.03%, 16.71% and 60.47 mg/kg respectively for R4. Milk production and body weights were monitored, an energy and protein balance trial conducted, overall glucose kinetics parameters assessed, mammary blood flow (MBF) and metabolite arteriovenous differences (${\Delta}AVs$) measured to get uptake data and mammary performance relationships. Parameters of glucose kinetics at peak lactation or during dry condition were not affected by ration quality. Glucose pool size, space of distribution and flux increased by 61.77, 62.26 and 82.08%, respectively, during lactation compared to the dry period. Mean glucose flux of lactating Bali cows was $5.52mg/min.kgBW^{0.807}$ which resembles the range of values of temperate dairy cows. Calculation showed that glucose requirements for maintenance, milk lactose and fat-glycerol synthesis, and the formation of NADPH reached 461.69 g for a yield of 1 kg/d or equal to 320.62 mg/min, which was less than the average glucose flux of lactating Bali cows of 481.35 mg/min. Mammary blood flow (MBF) values ranged from 56 to 83 l/h for the different treatments and the ratio MBF per kg milk produced improved from av. 1540 l/kg for R1 to av. 967 l/kg for R4 treated cows. Mammary glucose uptake ranged from 6.27 to 12.03 g/h or 120 to 140 g/kg milk. Glucose uptake was mass-wise 2 to 4 times the amount secreted as lactose, which indicated values less than the calculated mammary glucose needs and that little lactose was synthesized. The excess glucose taken-up was used for other metabolic processes. Linear relationships between metabolite ${\Delta}AVs$ and arterial blood plasma concentration [A] showed that in Bali cows triglycerides (TG), phenylalanine (Phe) and tyrosine (Tyr) have high coefficients of determination, i.e. 0.77, 0.81 and 0.69, respectively. For glucose, the relationship is quadratic with an $R^2$ value of 0.49. It was concluded that lactose synthesis was inadequate, which led to a speculation that milk yield could be improved by increased lactose synthesis.