Association between prepartum dry matter intake, net energy balance, and postpartum diseases in dairy cows
Keywords:transition period, dairy cattle, milk yield, prepartum, postpartum
The transition period in dairy cows is characterized by a drop in dry matter intake, leading to lipid mobilization in the form of nonesterified fatty acids [NEFA) and an increase in ketone bodies such as beta-hydroxybutyrate. Concentrations of NEFA > 0.3 mEq/L during 14 to 2 days prepartum can predict diseases like displaced abomasum, clinical ketosis, metritis, and retained placenta (RP). These diseases reduce milk yield, impair reproductive performance, and increase culling, hence incurring economic losses. The association between DMI prepartum and disease incidence postpartum has not been extensively studied. The primary objectives of this study were to determine the association between prepartum dry matter intake (DMI), DMI as percentage of body weight (DMI%BW), and net energy balance (NEB) (-21 days) and postpartum diseases or disorders; calving problems (dystocia, twins, stillbirth), RP, metritis, mastitis, metabolic problems (hypocalcemia, ketosis), digestive problems (indigestion, displaced abomasum), lameness, and disease (Dz) (no disease, 1 disease, >2 diseases). A secondary objective was to use DMI, DMI%BW and NEB prepartum to predict Dz postpartum.