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Visceral tissue mass and rumen volume in dairy cows during the transition from late gestation to early lactation

Reynolds, C. K., Durst, B., Lupoli, B., Humphries, D. J. and Beever, D. E. (2004) Visceral tissue mass and rumen volume in dairy cows during the transition from late gestation to early lactation. Journal of Dairy Science, 87 (4). pp. 961-971. ISSN 0022-0302

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Abstract/Summary

The objectives were to measure the effects of transition and supplemental barley or rumen-protected protein on visceral tissue mass in dairy cows and the effects of transition and barley on rumen volume and liquid turnover. Cows were individually fed a grass silage-based gestation ration to meet energy and protein requirements for body weight stasis beginning 6 wk before expected calving. A corn silage-based lactation ration was individually fed ad libitum after calving. In the visceral mass study, 36 cows were randomly assigned to one of 3 dietary treatments: basal ration or basal ration plus either 800 g dry matter (DM) of barley meal per day or 750 g DM of rumen-protected soybean protein per day. Cows were slaughtered at 21 and 7 d before expected calving date or at 10 and 22 d postpartum. Visceral mass and rumen papillae characteristics were measured. Diets had little effect on visceral mass. The mass of the reticulo-rumen, small intestine, large intestine, and liver was, or tended to be, greater at 22 d postpartum but not at 10 d postpartum before DM intake had increased. Rumen papillae mass increased at 10 d postpartum, perhaps in response to increased concentrates. Mesenteric fat decreased after calving, reflecting body fat mobilization. Ten rumen-cannulated cows were fed the basal gestation ration alone or supplemented with 880 g of barley meal DM. Rumen volumes and liquid dilution rates were measured at 17 and 8 d before calving and at 10, 20, and 31 d postpartum. Feeding barley had no effects. After calving, rumen DM volume and liquid dilution rate increased, but liquid volume did not increase. Changes in gastrointestinal and liver mass during transition were apparently a consequence of changes in DM intake and nutrient supply and not initiation of lactation per se.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
ID Code:9107
Uncontrolled Keywords:viscera, rumen volume, transition, dairy cow, ORGANIC NUTRIENT METABOLISM, MILK-PRODUCTION, FRIESIAN COWS, GRASS-SILAGE, FATTY-ACIDS, PREGNANCY, WEIGHT, GROWTH, PERIOD, FILL

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