Metabolic profiles and progesterone cycles in first lactation dairy cows.Theriogenology 2003; 59(7):1661-77T
This study investigated the ovarian function, metabolic profiles and fertility in first lactation Holstein-Friesian dairy cows (mean 305 day milk yield: 7417+/-191kg, n=37). Reproductive profiles obtained from milk progesterone analysis were categorized into normal (n=17) and four abnormal profiles (delayed ovulation, DOV1, n=9; DOV2, n=2; persistent corpus luteum, PCL1, n=6; PCL2, n=4; 1: immediately post-calving, 2: subsequent cycles). Fifty-five percent of cows had abnormal profiles with half of these being categorized as DOV1. Fertility of DOV1 and DOV2 cows was reduced whereas PCL1 and PCL2 cows had similar reproductive competence to normal profile cows. DOV1 animals had higher milk energy values, lower energy balances, lower dry matter intakes (DMI) and greater body weight and body condition score (BCS) losses post-calving than normal profile animals. DOV1 animals also had lower insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and higher betahydroxybutyrate (BHB) concentrations and tended to have the lower insulin and glucose concentrations in the pre-service period than normal profile cows. All PCL animals had vulval discharges postpartum. Despite this, the DMI, body weight and BCS changes, IGF-I concentrations and fertility of PCL1 animals was similar to normal profile cows. In conclusion, the high prevalence of delayed ovulation post-calving (DOV1) in primiparous high yielding cows lasted long enough (71+/-8.3 days) to have a detrimental impact on fertility and was associated with significant physiological changes. This study did not establish any detrimental effects of PCL profiles on fertility or production parameters.