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Summary

Body condition scoring (using a 5-point scale with quarterpoint divisions) was performed on 66 Holstein dairy cows that began their second or later lactation in August, September, or October 1988. Cows’ body condition was scored beginning on postpartum day 4 (± 1) and subsequently at postpartum days (± 1) 18, 32, 46, 60, 73 and 87. Blood samples were obtained on the same dates. Reproductive health examinations were conducted by 1 of 2 veterinarians beginning at postpartum day 21. Reproductive performance was evaluated in relation to body condition score and serum urea nitrogen and cholesterol concentrations.

Number of days to first recorded signs of estrus and first breeding were not related to body condition score at calving, amount of condition loss, cumulative 80-day milk yield, or 305-day fat corrected milk yield. Cows that calved with body condition score ≥ 3.50 required more days to conceive. Cows losing > 0.75 points of condition had longer days of conception. Body condition score at calving and amount of condition lost were not related to services per conception or diagnosis of follicular cyst.

Cumulative 80-day milk yield was not related to days to conception or services per conception. Cows that produced = the mean 305-day milk yield required more services and had longer days to conception than cows that produced < the mean 305-day milk yield. Cows with diagnosis of ovarian follicular cysts had greater cumulative 80- and 305-day milk yields than did cows that were not diagnosed with follicular cysts.

Cows conceiving with ≤ 2 services did not differ in average daily milk production, body condition score, or serum urea nitrogen concentration from cows conceiving with > 2 services, but cows that conceived with ≤ 2 services had higher serum cholesterol values than did cows requiring more services.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

Body condition scoring (using a 5-point scale with quarter-point divisions) was performed on 66 Holstein dairy cows that began their second or later lactation in August, September, or October 1988. Body condition was scored, beginning on postpartum day 4(± 1) and subsequently at postpartum days (± 1) 18, 32, 46, 60, 73, and 87. Blood samples were obtained on the same dates. Kilograms of milk produced per cow was measured daily. Body condition score and changes in body condition score were evaluated in relation to daily milk production, cumulative 80- day milk yield, and serum urea nitrogen and cholesterol concentrations.

Average daily milk production during week 1 was indicative of cumulative 80-day production, but not of 305- day milk yields. Cows that calved with body condition score ≥ 3.50 did not differ in average daily milk production, cumulative 80-day milk yield, or 305-day milk yield, compared with cows that calved with body condition score < 3.50. Cows that calved with body condition score ≥ 3.50 lost more condition than did cows that calved with body condition score < 3.50. Body condition score at calving and amount of body condition loss interacted with the rate of change in daily milk production.

Serum urea nitrogen concentration did not differ for cows grouped by cumulative 80-day milk production or for cows grouped by amount of condition loss. Serum cholesterol values were higher than previously reported values and increased directly with milk production. Serum cholesterol values were inversely related to condition loss, but changes in cholesterol concentration were not related to condition loss.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research