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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2006

Influence of low phosphorus intake during early lactation on apparent digestibility of phosphorus and bone metabolism in dairy cows

Ekelund A, Sporndly R, Holtenius K


In this study, the effects of reducing the dietary phosphorus (P) supply during the first 4 months of lactation on P balance and bone metabolism were investigated in dairy cows during a full lactation, including the dry period. Twenty-two multiparous cows of the Swedish Red and White Breed were included in the experiment. Eleven cows received a dietary P concentration of 0.43% of DM during the whole lactation (N-P), and 11 cows received a dietary P concentration of 0.32% of DM during the first 4 months of lactation, followed by 0.43% of DM during the rest of lactation (LP). Total collection of faeces was carried out during five different stages of lactation, for 5 consecutive days at each occasion, The dynamics of bone metabolism was investigated by monitoring one bone-formation marker, identifying osteocalcin (OC), and one bone-resorption marker identifying C-telopeptide fragments of collagen type I (CTx) in blood plasma. At the two first collection periods, 3-7 and 11-15 weeks after parturition, the apparent digestibility of P was higher in the LP cows (52%) than in the NP cows (42%). During the following collection periods, no difference in the apparent digestibility could be noted between the two groups of cows. Phosphorus retention did not differ between treatments at any collection period. The highest retention was observed during late lactation and during the dry period. The profiles of the bone metabolism markers indicated a net resorption of bone during early lactation, but there were no differences in marker concentrations between the groups during early lactation, indicating that the LP diet did not induce a further elevated net bone resorption. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Published in

Livestock Science
2006, Volume: 99, number: 2-3, pages: 227-236