Increased milk production versus reproductive and energy status of high producing dairy cows.

R. O. Harrison, S. P. Ford, J. W. Young, Alan J Conley, A. E. Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

196 Scopus citations


Two groups of 10 Holstein cows were chosen by pairs from a 20-yr genetic selection project that used either breed average or breed high sires chosen only for Predicted Differences in milk production. Milk production (305-d mature equivalent) was 10,814 kg and 6912 kg for the high and average groups of cows. Days to first visual estrus and number of ovulations before first visual estrus were greater for the high versus the average group (66 vs. 43 d and 1.6 vs. .7 ovulations). No differences were significant between groups for the interval from parturition to uterine involution or for days to first ovulation. Energy balance was less for the high group during wk 1, 2, 10, and 11. Plasma glucose concentration was lowest during wk 2 for both groups, and nonesterified fatty acids and beta-hydroxybutyrate were greatest for both groups during wk 1 and 2. Liver glycogen content was lower at d 15 postpartum for the high group, and liver triglyceride content was greater on d 30 for the high group. The data for reproductive functions support the concept that high milk production is antagonistic to expression of estrous behavior but not to reactivation of ovarian function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2749-2758
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Food Science
  • veterinary(all)


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