Prepartum Feeding of Cationic or Anionic Diets to Holstein Cows Given 30 or 60 Day Dry Periods: Comparison of Dry Matter Intake, Physiological Measures and Milk Production

  • Gulay, M.S. (Department of Physiology, Veterinary Faculty, Mehmet Akif Ersoy University) ;
  • Hayen, M.J. (University of Florida, Department of Animal Sciences) ;
  • Bachman, K.C. (University of Florida, Department of Animal Sciences) ;
  • Head, H.H. (University of Florida, Department of Animal Sciences)
  • Received : 2007.06.08
  • Accepted : 2007.09.07
  • Published : 2008.01.01


Eighty-four Holstein cows were used to evaluate effects of feeding two diets that differed in dietary cation-anion difference (cationic; +28 or anionic; -138 mEq/kg DM) on prepartum and postpartum dry matter intake (DMI), body weight (BW), body condition score (BCS), serum Ca concentrations and on subsequent milk production and composition. Treatments were in a $2{\times}3{\times}2$ factorial arrangement that included prepartum diet, dry period length (30 d dry, 30 d dry+estradiol cypionate (ECP), and 60 d dry), and prepartum and postpartum bST ($POSILAC^{(R)}$ 10.2 mg/d). No interaction of prepartum diet with dry period length or bST supplementation was detected for any measure evaluated either prepartum or postpartum. No significant effects of prepartum diet on prepartum DMI, BW or BCS were observed. Mean DMI during the first 28 d postpartum were similar for cows fed the cationic or anionic diets prepartum (25.5 vs. 26.1 kg/d). During postpartum wk 1 to 14, no differences in mean BW or BCS were detected due to prepartum diet fed but decreases for both groups were observed during the first 6 wk postpartum. No differences due to prepartum diet were observed for mean milk or 3.5% FCM yields or for milk composition during the first 10 wk of lactation. Similarly, mean milk yield of cows during the first 21 wk did not differ significantly due to prepartum diet fed (38.5 vs. 38.6 kg/d). Overall, cows fed the prepartum cationic or anionic diets had similar mean postpartum serum concentrations of Ca (9.34 vs. 9.35 mg/dl). Subsequent milk production, milk composition and concentrations of Ca did not differ. Importantly, the two prepartum diets were equally satisfactory in minimizing incidence of milk fever and in supporting initiation of lactation, irrespective of dry period length and supplemental ECP and bST.


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