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Nutritional Factors Affecting the Fertility of Dairy Cows

Nutritional Factors Affecting the Fertility of Dairy Cows

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Intense genetic selection for high milk yield in dairy cows is negatively associated with fertility. Early in lactation cows enter a period of Negative Energy Balance (NEB) which must be minimised to improve fertility. NEB affects the secretion of reproductive and metabolic hormones and metabolites. Reducing NEB requires monitoring of body condition score, appropriate nutrition before, and in early lactation.
Intense genetic selection for high milk yield in dairy cows is negatively associated with fertility. Early in lactation cows enter a period of Negative Energy Balance (NEB) which must be minimised to improve fertility. NEB affects the secretion of reproductive and metabolic hormones and metabolites. Reducing NEB requires monitoring of body condition score, appropriate nutrition before, and in early lactation.

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Sep 01, 2012
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10/27/2013

 
 Nutritional Factors Affectingthe Fertility of Dairy Cows
ByClaire FitzsimonsStudent no.: 05034698Module: Applied Animal PhysiologyANSC40010Lecturer: Professor Alex EvansEmail:alex.evans@ucd.ie
1
 
Table of Contents Page
1.Introduction4.2.Negative Energy Balance7.-Gonadotrophins8.-Metabolic Hormones and Metabolites10.3. Body Condition Score18.4.Protein Balance in the Diet20.5.The Role of Fatty Acids in Fertility22.6.Trace Elements 24.7.Conclusion25.8.References29.2
 
Introduction
The production of milk from the dairy cow is dependent on getting the cow in calf,maintaining the pregnancy and obtaining trouble-free parturition of the foetus. The success of this process relies on the fertility of the individual cow. There are many different measures of fertility, e.g., non-return rates after artificial insemination (AI), number of days not pregnantand calving interval (Butler et al, 1989), however, conception rate is a measure that can beused internationally. Conception rate is defined as the percentage of cows which hold toservice, with first service often used as the benchmark. A figure of 65% conception to firstservice is regarded as a very good figure (Blowey, 1999), however, conception rates havefallen well below this figure, as seen in Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.
Diskin et al (2006) estimate the reproductive performances of British-Friesians in 1980 compared to thoseof Holstein-Friesians in 2006.
This phenomenon of low conception rates to first service is being experienced world-wide inhigh yielding dairy cattle and has occurred in the last 10 to 15 years (Blowey, 1999). Irelandis by no means unique in this respect and has also experienced a decline in reproductive performance in the dairy herd since the mid seventies, not only is this characterised by lowconception rates but also high rates of embryonic mortality (Moore et al, 2006). This declinehas been linked with the increased proportion of North American Holstein Friesian genetics in3

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