Type

Journal Article

Authors

S T Butler
P. Lonergan
T Fair
S G Moore

Subjects

Veterinary

Topics
fertility transition health status body condition score milk production traits insulin like growth factor i genetic merit for fertility dry matter intake resumption of cyclicity

Genetic merit for fertility traits in Holstein cows: IV. Transition period, uterine health, and resumption of cyclicity. (2013)

Abstract The objective of this study was to monitor the dry matter intake (DMI), metabolic status, uterine health, and resumption of cyclicity in cows with similar genetic merit for milk production traits but with either good (Fert+) or poor genetic merit (Fert-) for fertility traits. Twenty-six cows were enrolled in the study and data are reported for 15 Fert+ and 10 Fert- cows that completed the study. All cows received a total mixed ration diet during early lactation and were turned out to pasture in late spring. Dry matter intake was recorded daily from wk -2 to 5 relative to parturition. Blood metabolites and metabolic hormones were measured from wk -2 to 8 relative to parturition. Milk production, body condition score, and body weight until wk 35 of lactation are reported. To monitor uterine health, vaginal mucus was scored weekly on a scale of 0 (no pus) to 3 (≥ 50% pus) from parturition to wk 8 and uterine polymorphonuclear neutrophil count was measured at wk 3 and 6 postpartum. Prepartum DMI was similar between genotypes, but Fert+ cows had significantly greater DMI than Fert- cows (19.7 vs. 16.8 kg of dry matter/d) during the postpartum period. Energy balance at wk 1 was significantly greater in Fert+ cows than in Fert- cows [2.3 vs. -1.12 unité fourragère lait (UFL)/d]. The Fert+ cows had significantly greater daily milk solids production (1.89 vs. 1.74 kg/d) and tended to have greater daily milk yield (24.2 vs. 22.3 kg/d). The Fert+ cows had significantly greater mean circulating insulin-like growth factor-I (102.62 vs. 56.85 ng/mL) and tended to have greater mean circulating insulin (3.25 vs. 2.62 μIU/mL) compared with Fert- cows from wk -2 to 8 relative to parturition. Mean circulating glucose (3.40 vs. 3.01 mmol/L) concentrations were significantly greater in Fert+ cows compared with Fert- cows from wk -2 to 3 relative to parturition. The Fert+ cows maintained significantly greater mean body condition score throughout lactation compared with Fert- cows (2.98 vs. 2.74 units). Moreover, Fert+ cows had better uterine health compared with Fert- cows, as evidenced by lower weekly vaginal mucus scores from wk 2 to 6 postpartum and, based on uterine cytology, smaller proportions were classified as having endometritis at wk 3 (0.42 vs. 0.78) and 6 (0.25 vs. 0.75). Also, a significantly greater proportion of Fert+ cows had resumed cyclicity by wk 6 postpartum (0.86 vs. 0.20) compared with Fert- cows. Hence, we report for the first time that genetic merit for fertility traits is associated with postpartum uterine health status. Superior uterine health and earlier resumption of cyclicity may be mediated through differences in DMI, energy balance, insulin, insulin-like growth factor-I, and body condition score profiles. Importantly, phenotypic improvement in fertility traits was achieved without antagonizing milk production.
Collections Ireland -> Teagasc -> PubMed

Full list of authors on original publication

S T Butler, P. Lonergan, T Fair, S G Moore

Experts in our system

1
S T Butler
Teagasc
Total Publications: 81
 
2
P. Lonergan
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 190
 
3
T Fair
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 66
 
4
S G Moore
Teagasc
Total Publications: 9