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Differences in rumen fermentation characteristics between low‐yield and high‐yield dairy cows in early lactation

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Relationship between rumen fermentation parameters, blood biochemical profiles and milk production traits in different yielding dairy cows during early lactation was investigated. Twelve dairy cows were divided into two groups based on their milk yield, that is low‐yield (LY) and high‐yield (HY) groups. Rumen fluid and blood were collected at 3 weeks prepartum and 4, 8 and 12 weeks postpartum. Results showed that proportions of acetate, propionate to total short chain fatty acids and acetate : propionate ratio were changed (P < 0.05) in both groups during the peripartum period, whereas butyrate and acetate : butyrate ratio were only altered in the HY group. Blood cholesterol, beta‐hydroxybutyric acid (BHBA) and glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase in the HY group were higher (P < 0.01) than those in the LY group. Principal component analysis revealed that milk yield and milk compositions were differently clustered between groups. These parameters showed similar direction with dry matter intake in the HY group and adverse direction in the LY group. Linear regression analysis indicated that butyrate was positively correlated with BHBA (P < 0.05) in the HY group. This study suggests that cows in the HY group seem to accommodate appropriately to negative energy balance in early lactation through rumen fermentation.
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Keywords: blood biochemistry; dairy cows; milk production; peripartum period; rumen fermentation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2017

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