Effects of energy-protein supplementation frequency on performance of primiparous grazing beef cows during pre and postpartum.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:Twenty-four pregnant Nellore primiparous grazing cows were used to evaluate the effects of energy-protein supplementation and supplementation frequency during pre (105 d before calving) and postpartum (105 d after calving) on performance and metabolic characteristics. METHODS:Experimental treatments consisted of a control (no supplementation), daily supplementation (1.5 kg/d of concentrate/animal) and infrequent supplementation (4.5 kg of concentrate/animal every three days). During the pre and postpartum periods, concentrations of blood metabolites and animal performance were evaluated. Ureagenesis and energy metabolism markers were evaluated at prepartum period. RESULTS:Supplementation frequency did not alter (p>0.10) body weight (BW), average daily gain (ADG), and carcass traits during pre and postpartum. The BW (p = 0.079), adjusted BW at day of parturition (p = 0.078), and ADG (p = 0.074) were greater for supplemented cows during the prepartum. The body condition score (BCS; p = 0.251), and carcass traits (p>0.10) were not affected by supplementation during prepartum. On postpartum, supplementation did not affect animal performance and carcass traits (p>0.10). The dry mater intake was not affected (p>0.10) by supplementation and supplementation frequency throughout the experimental period. Daily supplemented animals had greater (p<0.001) glucose levels than animals supplemented every three days. Supplementation and supplementation frequency did not alter (p>0.10) the levels of blood metabolites, neither the abundance of ureagenesis nor energy metabolism markers. CONCLUSION:In summary, our data show that the reduction of supplementation frequency does not cause negative impacts on performance and metabolic characteristics of primiparous grazing cows during the prepartum.
Project description:One objective was to evaluate the association of dry matter intake as a percentage of body weight (DMI%BW) and energy balance (EB) prepartum and postpartum, and energy-corrected milk (ECM) postpatum with digestive disorders postpartum. For this, ANOVA was used, and DMI%BW, EB, and ECM were the outcome variables, and left displaced abomasum (LDA), indigestion, and other digestive disorders (ODDZ) were the explanatory variables. The main objective was to evaluate prepartum DMI%BW and EB as predictors of digestive disorders. For this, logistic regression was used, and LDA, indigestion, and ODDZ were the outcome variables and DMI%BW and EB were the explanatory variables. Data from 689 cows from 11 experiments were compiled. Left displaced abomasum was not associated with prepartum DMI%BW or EB. Postpartum data were normalized to the day of the event (day 0). Cows that developed LDA had lesser postpartum DMI%BW on days -24, -23, -12, -7 to 0 and from days 1 to 8, 10 to 12, and 14 and 16, lesser postpartum EB from days -7 to -5, -3 to 0, and 12, and lesser postpartum energy-corrected milk on days -19, -2, -1, 0, 7, 9, 10, 15, and 17 relative to diagnosis than cows without LDA. Cows that developed indigestion had lesser prepartum DMI%BW and EB than cows without indigestion, and lesser postpartum DMI%BW on days -24, -1, 0, 1, and 2, and greater DMI%BW on day 26, lesser ECM on days -24, -2, -1, 0, 1, and 2 relative to diagnosis. Postpartum EB was not associated with indigestion postpartum. Cows that developed ODDZ had lesser prepartum DMI%BW on day -8 and from days -5 to -2, lesser prepartum EB on day -8 and from days -5 to -2, and lesser postpartum DMI%BW than cows without ODDZ. Each 0.1 percentage point decrease in the average DMI%BW and each Mcal decrease in the average EB in the last 3 days prepartum increased the odds of having indigestion by 9% each. Cutoffs for DMI%BW and EB during the last 3 days prepartum to predict indigestion were established and were ≤1.3%/day and ≤0.68 Mcal/day, respectively. In summary, measures of prepartum DMI%BW and EB were associated with indigestion and ODDZ postpartum and were predictors of indigestion postpartum, although the effect sizes were small.
Project description:Microbes present in the rumen of dairy cows are essential for degradation of cellulosic and nonstructural carbohydrates of plant origin. The prepartum and postpartum diets of high-producing dairy cows are substantially different, but in what ways the rumen microbiome changes in response and how those changes may influence production traits are not well elucidated. Here, we sequenced the 16S and 18S rRNA genes using the MiSeq platform to characterize the prepartum and postpartum rumen fluid microbiomes in 115 high-producing dairy cows, including both primiparous and multiparous animals. Discriminant analysis identified differences between the microbiomes of prepartum and postpartum samples and between primiparous and multiparous cows. 18S rRNA sequencing revealed an overwhelming dominance of the protozoan class Litostomatea, with over 90% of the eukaryotic microbial population belonging to that group. Additionally, fungi were relatively more prevalent and Litostomatea relatively less prevalent in prepartum samples than in postpartum ones. The core rumen microbiome (common to all samples) consisted of 64 bacterial taxa, of which members of the genus Prevotella were the most prevalent. The Chao1 richness index was greater for prepartum multiparous cows than for postpartum multiparous cows. Multivariable models identified bacterial taxa associated with increased or reduced milk production, and general linear models revealed that a metagenomically based prediction of productivity is highly associated with production of actual milk and milk components. In conclusion, the structure of the rumen fluid microbiome shifts between the prepartum and first-week postpartum periods, and its profile within the context of this study could be used to accurately predict production traits.
Project description:The objective of this study was to evaluate the addition of cane molasses during a 60 day dry period on performance and metabolism of Holstein cows during prepartum and postpartum periods. For experiment 1, 26 primiparous and 28 multiparous cows were used. Upon freshening, all cows were offered a common lactation diet. For experiment 2, six multiparous cows fitted with rumen cannulas were used to measure performance and metabolism, following the same protocol as experiment 1. Ruminal propionate increased by 10% during both prepartum and postpartum periods; however, papillae area was greater for cows not fed molasses, and volatile fatty acids (VFA) absorption from the rumen was not increased, resulting in similar glucagon-like-peptide-2 receptor (GLP-2R) density. The improved dry matter intake, when molasses was added into prepartum diets, translated into increased milk yield and energy-corrected milk (ECM) in Experiment 1 only for multiparous cows. For experiment 2, the improvement on milk performance was also observed, where cows fed molasses had 18.5% greater ECM production. Feeding molasses during a 60 day dry period positively influenced transition cow performance, and it was not accompanied by changes in rumen morphometrics; however, this indicates enhanced adaptation by the rumen epithelium based on similar capabilities for VFA absorption.
Project description:The objective was to investigate the effects of feeding late gestational beef cows supplements differing in fatty acid profile on steer progeny finishing phase growth performance, carcass characteristics, and relative mRNA expression of myogenic and adipogenic genes. Seventy Angus-cross steers (initial body weight [BW] 273 ± 34 kg) born from dams supplemented with either 155 g DM/d EnerGII (CON, rich in palmitic and oleic acids) or 80 g DM/d Strata + 80 g DM/d Prequel (PUFA, rich in linoleic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid) for the last 77 ± 6 d prepartum were used. <i>Longissimus</i> muscle and subcutaneous adipose biopsies were collected to evaluate relative mRNA expression of genes related to myogenesis and adipogenesis. Steers were slaughtered at 423 ± 6 d of age. No treatment × time interaction or treatment effect (<i>p</i> ≥ 0.21) was detected for steer finishing phase BW, while steers from PUFA supplemented dams tended (<i>p</i> = 0.06) to have a greater gain to feed ratio (G:F). Neither carcass characteristics nor relative mRNA expression was different (<i>p</i> ≥ 0.11). In conclusion, late gestation PUFA supplementation tended to increase steer progeny finishing phase G:F, but had no effects on finishing phase BW, carcass characteristics, or relative mRNA expression during the finishing phase.
Project description:Adipose tissue (AT) plays a major role in metabolic adaptations in postpartum (PP) dairy cows. The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is a key regulator of metabolism and energy homeostasis; however, information about this system in ruminants is scarce. Therefore, this work aimed to assess the eCB system in subcutaneous AT, and to determine its relation to the metabolic profile in peripartum cows. Biopsies of AT were performed at 14 d prepartum, and 4 and 30 d PP from 18 multiparous peripartum cows. Cows were categorized retrospectively according to those with high body weight (BW) loss (HWL, 8.5 ± 1.7% BW loss) or low body weight loss (LWL, 2.9 ± 2.5% BW loss) during the first month PP. The HWL had higher plasma non-esterified fatty acids and a lower insulin/glucagon ratio PP than did LWL. Two-fold elevated AT levels of the main eCBs, N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), were found 4 d PP compared with prepartum in HWL, but not in LWL cows. AT levels of the eCB-like molecules oleoylethanolamide, palmitoylethanolamide, and of arachidonic acid were elevated PP compared with prepartum in all cows. The abundance of monoglyceride lipase (MGLL), the 2-AG degrading enzyme, was lower in HWL vs. LWL AT PP. The relative gene expression of the cannabinoid receptors CNR1 and CNR2 in AT tended to be higher in HWL vs. LWL PP. Proteomic analysis of AT showed an enrichment of the inflammatory pathways' acute phase signaling and complement system in HWL vs. LWL cows PP. In summary, eCB levels in AT were elevated at the onset of lactation as part of the metabolic adaptations in PP dairy cows. Furthermore, activating the eCB system in AT is most likely associated with a metabolic response of greater BW loss, lipolysis, and AT inflammation in PP dairy cows.
Project description:This experiment evaluated the effects of postweaning body weight (BW) gain of replacement beef heifers on their reproductive development and productivity as primiparous cows. Seventy-two Angus × Hereford heifers were ranked on day -6 of experiment (17 d after weaning) by age and BW (218 ± 1.6 d of age and 234 ± 3 kg of BW), and assigned to receive 1 of 3 supplementation programs from days 0 to 182: 1) no supplementation to maintain limited BW gain (LGAIN), 2) supplementation to promote moderate BW gain (MGAIN), or 3) supplementation to promote elevated BW gain (HGAIN). Heifers were maintained in 2 pastures (36 heifers/pasture, 12 heifers/treatment in each pasture) with free-choice alfalfa-grass hay, and supplements were offered individually 6 d per week. Heifer shrunk BW was recorded on days -6 and 183 for average daily gain (ADG) calculation. Blood samples were collected for puberty evaluation via plasma progesterone weekly from days 0 to 182. On day 183, heifers were combined into a single group and received the same nutritional management until the end of the experimental period (day 718). From days 183 to 253, heifers were assigned to a fixed-time artificial insemination program combined with natural service. Average daily gain from days 0 to 182 was greater (P < 0.01) in HGAIN vs. MGAIN and LGAIN (0.78, 0.60, and 0.37 kg/d, respectively; SEM = 0.02), and greater (P < 0.01) in MGAIN vs. LGAIN heifers. Puberty attainment by the beginning of the breeding season was also greater in HGAIN vs. MGAIN and LGAIN (87.5%, 62.5%, and 56.5%, respectively; SEM = 7.1) but similar (P = 0.68) between MGAIN vs. LGAIN heifers. A treatment × day interaction was detected (P < 0.01) for calving rate, as HGAIN heifers calved earlier compared with MGAIN and LGAIN heifers. Ten heifers per treatment were assessed for milk production via weigh-suckle-weigh at 56.8 ± 1.5 d postpartum, followed by milk sample collection 24 h later. No treatment differences were detected (P ? 0.16) for milk yield and composition. However, mRNA expression of GLUT1 in milk fat globules was less (P ? 0.02) in LGAIN vs. MGAIN and HGAIN heifers, and expression of GLUT8 mRNA was also less (P = 0.04) in LGAIN vs. HGAIN heifers. No treatment differences were detected (P ? 0.44) for offspring weaning BW. Collectively, results from this experiment indicate that HGAIN hastened the reproductive development of replacement heifers, without negatively affecting their milk productivity and offspring weaning weight as primiparous cows.
Project description:Ketosis is one of the most prevalent transition metabolic disorders in dairy cows, and has been intrinsically influenced by both genetic and nutritional factors. However, altered gene expression with respective to dairy cow ketosis has not been addressed yet, especially at the genome-wide level. In this study, we recruited nine Holsteins diagnosed with clinical ketosis and ten healthy controls, for which whole blood samples were collected at both prepartum and postpartum. Four groups of blood samples were defined: from cows with ketosis at prepartum (PCK, N = 9) and postpartum (CK, N = 9), respectively, and controls at prepartum (PHC, N = 10) and postpartum (HC, N = 10). RNA-Seq approach was used for investigating gene expression, by which a total of 27,233 genes were quantified with four billion high-quality reads. Subsequently, we revealed 75 and four differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between sick and control cows at postpartum and prepartum, respectively, which indicated that sick and control cows had similar gene expression patterns at prepartum. Meanwhile, there were 95 DEGs between postpartum and prepartum for sick cows, which showed depressed changes of gene expression during this transition period in comparison with healthy cows (428 DEGs). Functional analyses revealed the associated DEGs with ketosis were mainly involved in biological stress response, ion homeostasis, AA metabolism, energy signaling, and disease related pathways. Finally, we proposed that the expression level of STX1A would be potentially used as a new biomarker because it was the only gene that was highly expressed in sick cows at both prepartum and postpartum. These results could significantly help us to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms for incidence and progression of ketosis in dairy cows.
Project description:Dairy cows experience dramatic changes in host physiology from gestation to lactation period and dietary switch from high-forage prepartum diet to high-concentrate postpartum diet over the transition period (parturition +/- three weeks). Understanding the community structure and activity of the rumen microbiota and its associative patterns over the transition period may provide insight for e.g. improving animal health and production. In the present study, rumen samples from ten primiparous Holstein dairy cows were collected over seven weeks spanning the transition period. Total RNA was extracted from the rumen samples and cDNA thereof was subsequently used for characterizing the metabolically active bacterial (16S rRNA transcript amplicon sequencing) and archaeal (qPCR, T-RFLP and mcrA and 16S rRNA transcript amplicon sequencing) communities. The metabolically active bacterial community was dominated by three phyla, showing significant changes in relative abundance range over the transition period: Firmicutes (from prepartum 57% to postpartum 35%), Bacteroidetes (from prepartum 22% to postpartum 18%) and Proteobacteria (from prepartum 7% to postpartum 32%). For the archaea, qPCR analysis of 16S rRNA transcript number, revealed a significant prepartum to postpartum increase in Methanobacteriales, in accordance with an observed increase (from prepartum 80% to postpartum 89%) in relative abundance of 16S rRNA transcript amplicons allocated to this order. On the other hand, a significant prepartum to postpartum decrease (from 15% to 2%) was observed in relative abundance of Methanomassiliicoccales 16S rRNA transcripts. In contrast to qPCR analysis of the 16S rRNA transcripts, quantification of mcrA transcripts revealed no change in total abundance of metabolically active methanogens over the transition period. According to T-RFLP analysis of the mcrA transcripts, two Methanobacteriales genera, Methanobrevibacter and Methanosphaera (represented by the T-RFs 39 and 267 bp), represented more than 70% of the metabolically active methanogens, showing no significant changes over the transition period; minor T-RFs, likely to represent members of the order Methanomassiliicoccales and with a relative abundance below 5% in total, decreased significantly over the transition period. In accordance with the T-RFLP analysis, the mcrA transcript amplicon sequencing revealed Methanobacteriales to cover 99% of the total reads, dominated by the genera Methanobrevibacter (75%) and Methanosphaera (24%), whereas the Methanomassiliicoccales order covered only 0.2% of the total reads. In conclusion, the present study showed that the structure of the metabolically active bacterial and archaeal rumen communities changed over the transition period, likely in response to the dramatic changes in physiology and nutritional factors like dry matter intake and feed composition. It should be noted however that for the methanogens, the observed community changes were influenced by the analyzed gene (mcrA or 16S rRNA).
Project description:Bacterial contamination of the uterus following calving is ubiquitous in the dairy cow, 40% of cows develop postpartum uterine infection, including metritis. While predisposing factors like twinning and dystocia are associated with metritis, it is unclear why some cows remain healthy following calving and others develop uterine infection, negatively impacting animal health, milk production and economic return. Here, we profiled peripheral blood mononuclear cells of cows before calving and during postpartum metritis. We hypothesized that peripheral blood mononuclear cell function and proportions would be altered during the prepartum period in cows that develop postpartum metritis. Using flow cytometry we observed reduced proportions of peripheral CD3+/CD4+, CD4+/CD62L+, FOXP3+ and CD21+ populations from -10 to 40?days relative to calving associated with metritis, while the proportion of peripheral CD3+/CD4+ lymphocytes were specifically reduced in the prepartum period before the onset of metritis. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from cows with metritis had a perturbed capacity to secrete IL-1? or IFN? in response to in vitro stimulus; cells collected during the prepartum period from cows that would go on to develop metritis failed to increase IL-1? secretion in response to stimulation, while IFN? secretion was altered at calving and postpartum in cows with metritis compared to healthy herd mates. No effect of metritis was observed in the capacity of cows to mount a humoral immune response to antigen administered on the day of calving. The studies discussed here suggest that while minor changes to the prepartum immune system are observed in cows that develop metritis, changes observed in the postpartum period are more prevalent and likely a consequences of disease and not causative. Future studies to modulate the prepartum immune system may help to limit postpartum metritis.
Project description:Postpartum hypocalcemia is a problem in dairy cows. Both the Jersey vs. Holstein breed and increasing parity are known risk factors. Our objectives were: (1) to evaluate a simple approach to provide dietary acidogenic salts suitable for application on small dairies and (2) to evaluate the combined effects of degree of acidification and oral Ca supplementation along with breed and parity group on periparturient Ca status of Holstein and Jersey cows. Cows were moved weekly from the far-off dry pen at 260 days pregnant to the close-up pen, where all cows received the acidogenic diets. The diet was offered as a total mixed ration and CaCl<sub>2</sub>, and our source of acidogenic salts was top-dressed in liquid form and mixed in by hand. Thirty-six cows were blocked by parity group (parity = 2 vs. parity ≥ 3) and breed (Holstein vs. Jersey) and assigned to one of two treatments (no intervention or postpartum oral Ca bolus supplementation) in an alternating fashion, based on expected date of parturition. Urinary acidification appeared complete within 3-4 days. Increased urinary Ca excretion was >93% of maximum from 7-21 days before falling to <5% of maximum by 28 days. Serum Ca concentrations 12-24 h postpartum were lower for Jerseys vs. Holsteins and for parity ≥ 3 vs. parity = 2 cows. Serum Ca over 6-48 h postpartum decreased and increased, respectively, with oral Ca supplementation for parity = 2 and parity ≥ 3 cows. Decreased prepartum urinary Ca excretion and increased colostrum yield appear to be independent risk factors of hypocalcemia for parity ≥ 3 Jerseys.