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Animals 2019, 9(4), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040131

Effects of Body Condition and Concentrate Proportion of the Ration on Mobilization of Fat Depots and Energetic Condition in Dairy Cows during Early Lactation Based on Ultrasonic Measurements

1
Institute of Animal Nutrition, Friedrich-Loeffler-Insitut (FLI), Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany
2
Department of Animal Sciences, University of Goettingen, 37077 Goettingen, Germany
3
Institute of Animal Nutrition, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, 06120 Halle (Saale), Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 February 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 27 March 2019 / Published: 29 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Dairy Cow Nutrition and Metabolism)
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Simple Summary

During early lactation, cows face metabolic challenges. They experience a negative energy balance as energy intake increases more slowly than energy output with milk rises. To compensate for that energy deficit, higher amounts of concentrate are offered. Additionally, cows are able to extract energy from body fat by lipid mobilization. Excessive body fat mobilization, however, leads to metabolic disorders. Therefore, high-conditioned cows are suggested to have a more pronounced lipid mobilization. The intention of the present study was to examine the change of various fat depots during the transition period depending on body condition and energy supply with ultrasonic measurements. Body condition loss after calving usually interpreted as mobilization of subcutaneous adipose tissue was not different between cows with a higher or lower body condition score. However, ultrasonic measurements detected a more pronounced mobilization of subcutaneous adipose tissue in higher conditioned animals. In contrast, inner fat depots were mobilized similarly between cows. Higher concentrate feed proportions led to a less pronounced negative energy balance. A less pronounced negative energy balance would have been expected to decrease lipid mobilization. However, this relation could not be verified in the present study. This demonstrates that sonography-based methods provide a clearer picture of metabolic conditions.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate energy metabolism and lipid mobilization via ultrasonic measurements (USM), considering inner fat depots, in lactating dairy cows differing in body condition score (BCS) and fed rations with low (35% at dry matter basis; C35) or high (60% at dry matter basis; C60) concentrate feed proportions postpartum. Sixty pluriparous German Holstein cows were arranged in a 2 × 2 factorial design from d 42 antepartum (relative to calculated calving) until d 120 postpartum. Animals were divided into a group with a lower (initial BCS = 3.1 ± 0.38 SD; BCSL) and a group with a higher (initial BCS = 3.83 ± 0.41 SD; BCSH) BCS. Due to higher dry matter intake C60 groups reached the positive energy balance earlier, whereas C35 groups had a more pronounced negative energy balance. Although this would suggest a more pronounced mobilization of C35 groups the USM revealed no differences between feeding groups. Differences in BCS between both BCS groups remained almost the same over the trial. This was not reflected in ultrasonic data, as lipid mobilization was higher in higher conditioned cows. These findings demonstrate the extended possibilities of USM to depict metabolic processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: dairy cows; animal health; body condition score; concentrate feed proportion; energy metabolism; lipid mobilization; postpartal period dairy cows; animal health; body condition score; concentrate feed proportion; energy metabolism; lipid mobilization; postpartal period
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bünemann, K.; von Soosten, D.; Frahm, J.; Kersten, S.; Meyer, U.; Hummel, J.; Zeyner, A.; Dänicke, S. Effects of Body Condition and Concentrate Proportion of the Ration on Mobilization of Fat Depots and Energetic Condition in Dairy Cows during Early Lactation Based on Ultrasonic Measurements. Animals 2019, 9, 131.

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