Prepartum dietary management of energy intake affects postpartum intake and lactation performance by primiparous and multiparous Holstein cows.J Dairy Sci. 2010 Jul; 93(7):3086-102.JD
An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of plane of energy intake prepartum on postpartum performance. Primiparous (n=24) and multiparous (n=23) Holsteins were randomly assigned by expected date of parturition to 1 of 3 prepartum energy intakes. A moderate energy diet [1.63 Mcal of net energy for lactation (NE(L))/kg; 15% crude protein (CP)] was fed for either ad libitum intake (OVR) or restricted intake (RES) to supply 150 or 80% of National Research Council (2001) energy requirement, respectively, for dry cows in late gestation. To limit energy intake to 100% of NRC requirement at ad libitum dry matter intake (DMI), chopped wheat straw was included as 31.8% of dry matter (DM) in a control diet (CON; 1.21 Mcal of NE(L)/kg of DM; 14% CP). Multiparous and primiparous cows assigned to OVR gained body condition during the dry period [initial body condition score (BCS)=3.3], but were not overconditioned by parturition (BCS=3.5). Multiparous cows in the OVR group lost more BCS postpartum than multiparous RES or CON cows. Primiparous cows lost similar amounts of BCS among dietary treatment groups postpartum. Addition of chopped wheat straw to CON diets prevented a large decrease in DMI prepartum in both primiparous and multiparous cows. During the first 3 wk postpartum, DMI as a percentage of BW was lower for multiparous OVR cows than for multiparous RES cows. Prepartum diet effects did not carry over through the entire 8-wk lactation period. Because of greater mobilization of body stores, OVR cows had greater milk fat percentage and greater 3.5% fat-corrected milk yield during the first 3 wk postpartum. Multiparous cows assigned to OVR experienced a 55% decrease in energy balance and primiparous cows a 40% decrease in energy balance during the last 3 wk before parturition, compared with CON or RES cows that had little change. Multiparous cows fed OVR had a greater contribution of energy from body energy reserves to milk energy output than either CON or RES cows. Overfeeding energy prepartum resulted in large changes in periparturient energy balance. Even in the absence of overconditioning, a large change in DMI and energy balance prepartum influenced postpartum DMI and BCS loss, especially for multiparous cows. Chopped wheat straw was effective at controlling energy intake prepartum, although primiparous cows did not achieve predicted DMI. Even so, controlling or restricting energy intake in primiparous cows was not detrimental to lactational performance over the first 8 wk of lactation.