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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2003

Effects of feeding intensity during the dry period. 2. Metabolic and hormonal responses

Holtenius K, Agenas S, Delavaud C, Chilliard Y


The metabolic response to different feeding levels during the dry period was studied in 24 multiparous dairy cows of the Swedish Red and White breed. The cows represented two lines, selected for high or low milk fat percentage, at the same amount of energy produced in milk. The cows were fed one of three, different amounts of the same total mixed diet during the dry period, starting 8 wk prior to the expected parturition. The rations provided 71, 106, or 177 MJ metabolizable energy per day. After parturition the cows were offered another total mixed diet ad libitum for the first 12 wk of lactation. Glucose challenges were performed 3 wk prior to and 3 wk after parturition. Prepartum the glucose clearance rate was related to feeding level. Insulin response to the glucose challenge was reduced during the postpartum period, compared to the prepartum period. During about 6 wk prepartum, the insulin level in plasma was related to feeding level. At the sampling 3 wk prior to parturition the plasma level of leptin also was related to the feeding level. After parturition both leptin and insulin were reduced. In early lactation plasma leptin concentration was not related to adiposity as reflected by body condition scoring. It was suggested that lactation as such affected the leptin concentration in plasma

Published in

Journal of Dairy Science
2003, Volume: 86, number: 3, pages: 883-891