Effect of prepartal and postpartal dietary fat level on performance and plasma concentration of metabolites in transition dairy cows.

Karimian, M., Khorvash, M., Forouzmand, M.A., Alikhani, M., Rahmani, H.R., Ghaffari, M.H., and Petit, H.V. (2015). "Effect of prepartal and postpartal dietary fat level on performance and plasma concentration of metabolites in transition dairy cows.", Journal of Dairy Science (JDS), 98(1), pp. 330-337. doi : 10.3168/jds.2013-7577  Access to full text

Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine the effects of 2 levels of dietary fat (low and high) offered during the prepartal and postpartal periods on dry matter intake (DMI), plasma concentration of metabolites, and milk yield and composition. Twenty-four Holstein dry cows were assigned on d 21 relative to expected parturition date to 1 of 4 treatments in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of 2 levels of fat fed during the prepartal period and 2 levels of fat fed during the postpartal period: prepartal low fat and postpartal low fat (LF-LF), prepartal low fat and postpartal high fat (LF-HF), prepartal high fat and postpartal low fat (HF-LF), or prepartal high fat and postpartal high fat (HF-HF). Prepartal and postpartal LF diets contained no fat supplement. Prepartal HF diets contained 1.60% calcium salts of soybean oil. The proportion of calcium salts of soybean oil was increased to 1.70% of DM for the first 21 d of lactation and to 2.27% of DM from d 21 to 56 of lactation in the HF diet. Diets were fed for ad libitum intake from d 21 before calving until d 56 of gestation. Prepartal DMI was lower for cows fed the HF diet compared with those fed the LF diet (12.6 vs. 16.2 kg/d). Postpartum, cows fed the HF-HF and HF-LF diets had, respectively, the lowest and highest DMI, although no significant differences existed between HF-LF and LF-LF. Net energy intake was higher for cows fed the postpartal HF diets compared with those fed the LF diets. Prepartal fat level had no effect on net energy intake. Cows offered the prepartal HF diet had higher milk yield when offered the postpartal LF diet compared with those offered the postpartal HF diet and no effect of the postpartal fat level was detected when cows were fed the prepartal LF diet. Milk composition was similar among treatments. Plasma cholesterol concentration postpartum was higher for cows fed the prepartal LF diet than for those fed the prepartal HF diet (5.16 vs. 3.74 mmol/L) and postpartal fat level had no effect. Prepartal diet had no significant effect on postpartal plasma triglyceride concentration but the postpartal HF diet increased triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein concentrations compared with the postpartal LF diet. In conclusion, switching from a high to a low fat proportion in the postpartal diet may alleviate the negative effects of a high proportion of fat in the prepartal diet as shown by increased feed intake and milk production during the first 56 d of lactation.

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