Effects of fat supplementation and immature alfalfa to concentrate ratio on plasma progesterone, energy balance and reproductive traits of dairy cattle.
Forty-six multiparous Holstein cows were assigned at 5 d postpartum to a completely randomized design employing a 2 x 3 factorial arrangement of treatments. Factors were 0 and 5% added prilled long-chain fatty acids (DM basis) and three forage to concentrate ratios (45:55, 64:36, 84:16). Diets consisted of immature alfalfa silage and a concentrate of shelled corn and soybean meal with or without fat replacing a portion of the corn. Mean plasma concentration of cholesterol was higher for cows fed 5% vs. 0% fat and increased over the first 100 d in milk for all animals regardless of treatment. There were no differences in reproductive performance due to either of the main effects. Mean plasma progesterone was higher due to fat treatment in the mid to late luteal phase of the second postpartum cycle as well as the metestrous to early luteal phase and mid to late luteal phase of the third cycle. Even though progesterone concentrations were higher in cows fed 5% fat during the luteal phase after breeding, the conception rates at this service were not different from those fed 0% fat. The biological significance of increased plasma progesterone concentration was not identified with any postpartum reproductive trait measured in this trial.
Carroll, DJ; Jerred, MJ; Grummer, RR; Combs, DK; Pierson, RA; Hauser, ER
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