Effect of a transition diet on production performance and metabolism in periparturient dairy cows.J Dairy Sci. 2007 Nov; 90(11):5247-58.JD
The objectives of this study were to characterize the change in blood metabolites over time, and to evaluate the effect of dietary energy concentration on ketone body accumulation in periparturient cows. Twenty-eight multiparous Holstein cows were listed in order of their anticipated due dates and assigned randomly to 1 of 2 groups: with or without a transition diet. The control group received a nonlactating cow diet [1.54 Mcal/kg of net energy for lactation (NE(L)), 10.9% crude protein (CP), 53.1% neutral detergent fiber (NDF)] from 28 d before expected parturition, and a lactation diet (1.77 Mcal of NE(L)/kg, 16.8% CP, 29.9% NDF) after parturition. The treatment group received a transition diet (1.71 Mcal of NE(L)/kg, 16.8% CP, 35.2% NDF) from 17 d before parturition to 14 d after calving and was fed the same diets as cows in the control group during the third week of lactation. Blood from the coccygeal vein was sampled 3 times per week from 21 d before expected parturition to 21 d postpartum for analysis of glucose, nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA), beta-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, acetone, and glycerol. There were no significant differences in dry matter intake, milk yield, milk components, body weight change, and body condition score change during the postcalving period. Plasma concentrations of different ketone bodies changed in parallel, stayed relatively constant precalving, peaked after parturition, and then decreased but remained high compared with concentrations late in gestation. Plasma concentrations of NEFA and glycerol changed in a pattern similar to those of the ketone bodies. Feeding a transition diet resulted in a greater area under the curve (AUC) for glucose in the last 17 d of gestation, but in no effect within the first 21 d in milk. Acetoacetate AUC was greater for treatment cows than for control cows across the first 21 d in milk. The AUC of NEFA and glycerol between d 15 and 21 postpartum were greater for treatment cows than for control cows. Feeding a transition diet both before and after parturition was associated with greater mobilization of adipose tissue and greater exposure to ketone bodies in early lactation compared with abruptly changing to a lactation diet after parturition.