Diets during far-off and close-up dry periods affect periparturient metabolism and lactation in multiparous cows

H. M. Dann, N. B. Litherland, J. P. Underwood, M. Bionaz, A. D'Angelo, J. W. McFadden, J. K. Drackley

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The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of far-off and close-up diets on prepartum metabolism, postpartum metabolism, and postpartum performance of multiparous Holstein cows. From dry-off to -25 d relative to expected parturition (far-off dry period), cows were fed a control diet to meet National Research Council (NRC) recommendations for net energy for lactation (NEL) at ad libitum intake (100NRC; n = 25) or a higher nutrient density diet, which was fed for either ad libitum intake to provide at least 150% of calculated NEL requirement (150NRC; n = 25) or at restricted intake to provide 80% of calculated NEL requirements (80NRC; n = 24). From -24 d relative to expected parturition until parturition (close-up period), cows were fed a diet that met or exceeded NRC nutrient recommendations at either ad libitum intake (n = 38) or restricted intake (n = 36) to provide 80% of the calculated NEL requirement. After parturition, all cows were fed a lactation diet and measurements were made through 56 d in milk (DIM). Prepartum metabolism was consistent with the plane of nutrition. During the first 10 DIM, far-off treatments had significant carryover effects on dry matter intake, energy balance, serum nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentration, and serum β-hydroxybutyrate concentration. Cows with the lower energy balance during the far-off period (100NRC and 80NRC) had higher dry matter intake and energy balance and lower serum NEFA and β-hydroxybutyrate during the first 10 DIM. There were no effects of close-up diet and no interactions of far-off and close-up treatments. During the first 56 DIM, there were no residual effects of far-off or close-up diets on dry matter intake, milk yield or composition, body weight, body condition score, serum glucose and insulin concentrations, or muscle lipid concentration. Serum NEFA was higher for 150NRC than 80NRC; 100NRC was intermediate. Thus, the effects of far-off and close-up treatments on postpartum variables diminished as lactation progressed. Overfeeding during the far-off period had a greater negative impact on peripartum metabolism than did differences in close-up period nutrition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3563-3577
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Close-up dry period
  • Far-off dry period
  • Periparturient cow
  • Prepartum intake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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