What are the metabolic diseases?
Fertility problems (esp. in high yielding cows)
How do we assess if a diet is working properly?
Milk production - yield changes, peak yields
Milk quality - butterfat and protein
Body condition score and weight change
Poor fertility - weak heat signs, returns
Define Peak Yield as a percentage of Total Lactation Yield
Peak Yield = 0.5% of Total Lactation Yield
Peak yield x200 = Total Lactation Yield
How much does milk yield decline after 100 days?
1.5-2% per week
8-10% per month
What two things determine butterfat quality?
Acetic fermentation and dietary fibre
What three things determine milk protein?
Microbial protein from rumen bacteria, dietary energy, DUP
How do cows maintain a well-buffered rumen environment for optimum microbial growth with a stable pH of between 6-7?
- Consume up to 20 meals
- Spend up to 9 hours ruminating
- Chew, crush, and fragment forage using 30-50,000 jaw movements
- Produce up to 180 litres of saliva containing 3.5kg bicarbonate
- Lie resting for up to 14 hours
How do vets assess the adequacy of a diet
- Dry matter intake
- Feed quality
- Faecal consistency
- Observing cows when undisturbed for cow comfort and welfare
- Milk production
- Body condition scoring
- Milk quality
When should cows be blood sampled to assess diet and why?
May or June when grass is of optimum quality and availability (provides baseline for comparison later on in the year)
July or August since grass growth and quality are unpredictable and variable
Autumn grazing period (identify potential problems resulting from an overestimation fo the nutritional contribution from autumn grass for recently calved cows)
Winter feeding period (gives a good indication of the balance of the total diet and make adjustments)
After major management or feeding change
When should you time the blood sampling for diet assessment?
Allow 203 hours to elapse after the cow has had a major intake of concentrate feed
This delay is less important when small feeds are provided regularly or when a large proportion of the concentrate is fed mixed with forage
When is the greatest energy gap in the cow's yearly cycle?
2 weeks post calving
What determines faecal consistency?
Influenced by water and fibre content
You are looking for presence of long fiber and undigested grains
What is the optimum body condition score for a dairy cow after calving?
Why are fat cows after calving bad?
They eat less after calving, suffer more metabolic disease, are harder to get back in calf
What is rumen fill dependent on?
DM intake, ration composition, rate of passage of feed
What are the biochemical measurements for energy? protein? minerals?
- B-hydroxybutyrate (BOHB)
- Total protein
- Albumin Globulin
What does BOHB measure and from sample do you obtain it?
stable ketone body
Can be measured in blood, urine, or milk
What does NEFA measure?
What does a high BOHB and/or NEFA indicate?
Increased risk of LDA, RFM, or metritis
What are the rules for blood sampling?
Timing of blood testing
Stage of production cycle (early-, mid-lactation group, or close up transition cow group)
Selection of cows for testing
Use of background information
What are the parameters for early lactation group when sampling? mid lactation group? Dry cow group?
Early lactation group = 10-20 days calved
Mid lactation group = 80-150 days calved
Dry cow group = last 10 days of pregnancy
How do you choose which cows to sample?