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Open AccessArticle

Variation of Blood Metabolites of Brown Swiss, Holstein-Friesian, and Simmental Cows

1
Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural resources, Animals and Environment, University of Padova, Viale dell’Università 16, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy
2
Associazione Regionale Allevatori del Veneto (ARAV), Corso Australia 67/a, 35136 Padova, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(2), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020271
Received: 20 December 2019 / Revised: 31 January 2020 / Accepted: 7 February 2020 / Published: 10 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Cattle)
Population-level phenotyping of blood metabolites is hardly achievable due to the limitation of reference analyses. Mid-infrared spectroscopy has recently been used to develop prediction models for major blood metabolites, allowing their determination on a large scale. The current study investigated the variation of blood β-hydroxybutyrate, non-esterified fatty acids, and urea nitrogen predicted from a large milk mid-infrared spectra database of Brown Swiss, Holstein-Friesian, and Simmental cows. Holstein-Friesian cows had the greatest concentrations of β-hydroxybutyrate and non-esterified fatty acids, and the lowest urea nitrogen in blood, which may underline an altered energy and nutritional status.
Serum metabolic profile is a common method to monitor health and nutritional status of dairy cows, but blood sampling and analysis are invasive, time-consuming, and expensive. Milk mid-infrared spectra have recently been used to develop prediction models for blood metabolites. The current study aimed to investigate factors affecting blood β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), and urea nitrogen (BUN) predicted from a large milk mid-infrared spectra database. Data consisted of the first test-day record of early-lactation cows in multi-breed herds. Holstein-Friesian cows had the greatest concentration of blood BHB and NEFA, followed by Simmental and Brown Swiss. The greatest and the lowest concentrations of BUN were detected for Brown Swiss and Holstein-Friesian, respectively. The greatest BHB concentration was observed in the first two weeks of lactation for Brown Swiss and Holstein-Friesian. Across the first month of lactation, NEFA decreased and BUN increased for all considered breeds. The greatest concentrations of blood BHB and NEFA were recorded in spring and early summer, whereas BUN peaked in December. Environmental effects identified in the present study can be included as adjusting factors in within-breed estimation of genetic parameters for major blood metabolites.
Keywords: dairy cattle; milk mid-infrared spectroscopy; blood; metabolic profile; early lactation dairy cattle; milk mid-infrared spectroscopy; blood; metabolic profile; early lactation
MDPI and ACS Style

Benedet, A.; Franzoi, M.; Manuelian, C.L.; Penasa, M.; De Marchi, M. Variation of Blood Metabolites of Brown Swiss, Holstein-Friesian, and Simmental Cows. Animals 2020, 10, 271.

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