Use of metabolic profiles and body condition scoring for the assessment of energy status of dairy cows
Biotechnology in Animal Husbandry
The aim of this study was to assess the significance of body condition scoring and metabolic profile test for estimation of energy status of healthy high-yielding dairy cows. Twenty one healthy cows (primiparous and secundiparous) were divided into three groups: dry cows, early puerperal cows and early lactating cows. Cow's energy status was estimated by the analysis of blood samples for beta-hydroxybutirate (BHBA) and glucose. Additionally, urea, total bilirubine and total protein were
... rotein were measured in blood serum samples. According to body condition scores (BCS) results dry cows were overweight (4.03±0.29 points). Immediately after calving, cows lost their weight significantly, since BCS was 2.85±0.46 points at puerperal period and 3.12±0.33 points at day 60 of lactation (p<0.001 compared to dry period, respectively). Glucose concentration did not change significantly between dry and puerperal period, while BHBA increased significantly (0.46±0.14 mmol/l at dry period to 1.08±0.21 mmol/l at puerperal period; p<0.001). Urea concentration did not change significantly during examined period. Total bilirubin concentration significantly increased from dry (6.31±0.37 mmol/l) to puerperal period (7.63±2.52 mmol/l; p<0.001 compared to dry period) and remained high until day 60 of lactation (7.62±0.13 mmol/l; p<0.001 compared to dry period). Total protein concentration decreased from dry to puerperal period (69.59±6.14 g/l to 58.87±3.29 g/l; p<0.001). According to obtained results it can be concluded that cows were not in adequate energy status during transition period. Our results also indicate that, body condition scoring, BHBA and total bilirubin concentrations can be used as reliable indicators of cow's energy status even when there are not clinically visible health disorders.