Dry Cow Management For The Prevention Of Ketosis And Fatty Liver In Dairy Cows.
Abstract Dramatic increases in energy requirements during late gestation and early lactation, superimposed on an animal with a profound drop in DMI just before calving, make the dairy cow highly susceptible to the metabolic diseases ketosis and hepatic lipidosis. Increased serum concentrations of NEFA appear to be causally linked to these problems, and feeding strategies to reduce or avoid this dramatic increase are desirable for optimal health and performance. During the last 3 to 4 weeks prepartum, a diet higher in energy and protein concentration than current NRC recommendations should be fed so that adequate nutrient intake occurs within the limits of the reduced DMI. The additional energy should be provided by glucose precursors, such as starchy concentrates or propylene glycol, and not by lipid. Excessive energy and reduced fiber should be avoided both early in the dry period (more than 28 days prepartum) and immediately postpartum. Attention should be paid to the environment of the cow, especially during the last 3 weeks prepartum, to avoid environmental stressors as much as possible. Continue reading >>