Effects of postpartum milking strategy on plasma mineral concentrations and colostrum, transition milk, and milk yield and composition in multiparous dairy cows

A. Valldecabres, R. B. Lopes, A. Lago, C. Blanc, N. Silva-del-Río

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The effects of postpartum milking strategy on plasma mineral concentrations, blood β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) concentration, and colostrum, transition milk, and first monthly test milk yield and composition were evaluated in 90 multiparous Jersey and Jersey × Holstein crossbreed cows from a commercial farm. Before first postpartum milking, cows were randomly assigned to the following milking strategies, implemented during the first 2 d postpartum: twice-a-day milking (M2, standard industry practice, milking every 12 h; n = 22), once-a-day milking (M1, milking every 24 h; n = 24), restricted milking (MR, 3-L milking every 12 h; n = 21), and delayed milking (MD, no milking for the first 24 h, and milking every 12 h afterward; n = 23). Blood samples for total plasma Ca, P, and Mg determination were collected from enrollment every 4 h up to 48 h, and at 3 d in milk. Blood BHB concentration was determined at 3 and 11 d in milk. Colostrum and transition milk yields were recorded, and samples were collected at each study milking for IgG and somatic cell count (SCC) determinations. Information for first monthly test milk yield and composition was obtained from the Dairy Herd Improvement Association. Statistical analyses were conducted using generalized multiple linear and Poisson regressions with Dunnett adjustment and M2 as reference group for mean comparisons. Overall, plasma Ca concentration within 48 h after enrollment was higher for MD (2.17 mmol/L), tended to be higher for MR (2.15 mmol/L), and was similar for M1 (2.09 mmol/L) compared with M2 cows (2.06 mmol/L). No statistically significant differences compared with M2 cows were observed for plasma P and Mg concentrations. Colostrum and transition milk and total Ca harvested within 48 h after enrollment were lower for M1, MR, and MD compared with M2 cows. The MD strategy prevented harvesting colostrum with >50 g of IgG/L. No statistically significant effects were detected on plasma mineral concentrations at 3 DIM, blood BHB concentration, colostrum and transition milk SCC within 48 h after enrollment, or milk yield, energy-corrected milk yield, and SCC at first monthly test. Our results suggest that postpartum plasma Ca concentration may be influenced by postpartum milking strategy, without interfering with future milk yield and udder health. Further studies should evaluate whether the proposed milking strategies in early postpartum affect production, reproduction, or health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • calcium
  • colostrum
  • dairy cow
  • hypocalcemia
  • postpartum milking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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