A study with 40 multiparous high yielding dairy cows was conducted to investigate the influence of an induced negative energy balance (NEB) on reproductive performance. Energy restriction of 49% was performed for 3 weeks beginning on oestrous cycle day 12 of first oestrous cycle after day 85 post partum (pp). From day 20 to day 150 pp animals were monitored for ovary activity three times weekly using rectal palpation and transrectal ultrasound scanning and were inseminated around day 150 pp. Additionally, milk progesterone and milk hydrocortisone were analyzed twice a week. Body condition score and body weight as well as blood glucose, plasma nonesterified fatty acids and plasma β-hydroxybutyrate were recorded weekly. According to oestrous cycle activity before (Period 1 = natural energy deficiency), during (Period 2) and after (Period 3) induced energy restriction animals were assigned to the following groups: Delayed first ovulation until day 45 pp, normal oestrous cycle, prolonged oestrous cycle and shortened oestrous cycle. Sporadic significances, but no clear effect of the metabolic state on reproductive performance could be found during Periods 1 and 2. Service success and conception rate were also not influenced. Our results demonstrate a remarkable adaptation of reproductive activity to metabolic challenges. Animals were able to compensate natural NEB in Period 1 as well as induced NEB (Period 2) for preventing metabolic disorders and maintaining reproductive activity. Therefore dietary energy availability had no effect on reproductive performance at more than 85 days in milk in the present study. To understand reproductive failures in dairy cows focus should be laid on genetic disposition of high yielding individuals that cope successful with metabolic challenges.
Key words: Ovarian cycle, negative energy balance, dairy cows.
Copyright © 2021 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0