Relation among body condition score, milk production, and serum urea nitrogen and cholesterol concentrations in high-producing Holstein dairy cows in early lactation

Pamela L. Ruegg From Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Ave, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada C1A4P3 (Ruegg), the Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, 2015 Linden Drive West, Madison, WI 53706 (Goodger), the Veterinary Medical Teaching and Research Center, 18830 Road 112, Tulare, CA 93274 (Holmberg, Weaver), and Dairy Health Management Services, PO Box 1688, Hanford, CA 93230 (Huffman).

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William J. Goodger From Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Ave, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada C1A4P3 (Ruegg), the Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, 2015 Linden Drive West, Madison, WI 53706 (Goodger), the Veterinary Medical Teaching and Research Center, 18830 Road 112, Tulare, CA 93274 (Holmberg, Weaver), and Dairy Health Management Services, PO Box 1688, Hanford, CA 93230 (Huffman).

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Charles A. Holmberg From Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Ave, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada C1A4P3 (Ruegg), the Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, 2015 Linden Drive West, Madison, WI 53706 (Goodger), the Veterinary Medical Teaching and Research Center, 18830 Road 112, Tulare, CA 93274 (Holmberg, Weaver), and Dairy Health Management Services, PO Box 1688, Hanford, CA 93230 (Huffman).

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Leon D. Weaver From Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Ave, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada C1A4P3 (Ruegg), the Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, 2015 Linden Drive West, Madison, WI 53706 (Goodger), the Veterinary Medical Teaching and Research Center, 18830 Road 112, Tulare, CA 93274 (Holmberg, Weaver), and Dairy Health Management Services, PO Box 1688, Hanford, CA 93230 (Huffman).

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E. Michael Huffman From Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Ave, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada C1A4P3 (Ruegg), the Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, 2015 Linden Drive West, Madison, WI 53706 (Goodger), the Veterinary Medical Teaching and Research Center, 18830 Road 112, Tulare, CA 93274 (Holmberg, Weaver), and Dairy Health Management Services, PO Box 1688, Hanford, CA 93230 (Huffman).

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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.

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.

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