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Nutritional implications on the fertility of high yielding dairy cows

Beever, D. E., Wathes, D. C. and Taylor, V. J. (2004) Nutritional implications on the fertility of high yielding dairy cows. Cattle Practice, 12. pp. 31-39. ISSN 0969-1251

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This paper reviews energy utilisation in high yielding Holsteins and draws attention to the competing forces within the cow for nutrients to support different physiological processes. These comprise; meeting obligatory maintenance costs, providing essential nutrients for milk synthesis, maintenance of satisfactory milk composition, regulation of body tissue metabolism and body condition score and the establishment of reproductive cyclity after calving, followed by a successful pregnancy. Interrelationships between nutritional state and the partition of nutrients to these competing forces is discussed, with emphasis on the fertility of high yielding multiparous cows, aiming to determine the origins of some of the abnormal cycles and compromised fertility noted in such cows. A further analysis with primaparous heifers is provided and finally a number of strategies are identified that could be undertaken, to improve nutritional state and the overall fertility of high yielding cows. It is concluded that development of improved nutritional strategies represents a more reliable means of improving the overall productivity, along with the fertility of high yielding cows, than an increased focus on genetic selection, where predictability of response has often been disappointing.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
ID Code:8293
Uncontrolled Keywords:dairy cows, nutrition, energy, nutrient partitioning, body condition, progesterone, cyclity, fertility, ENERGY-BALANCE, OVARIAN ACTIVITY, MILK-PRODUCTION, LACTATION, PROFILES

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