Effect of Restricted Feeding and Monopropylene Glycol Postpartum on Metabolic Hormones and Postpartum Anestrus in Grazing Dairy Heifers

L.M. Chagas, P.J.S. Gore, Gemma Graham, K.A. Macdonald, Dominique Blache

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Abstract

This study was designed to determine the effects of feed restriction and monopropylene glycol (MPG) supplementation on the reproductive, milk production, and somatotropic axes in dairy heifers postpartum. At calving, 49 Holstein-Friesian heifers were allowed either unrestricted (UNR; n = 18) or restricted access to pasture with (RES+MPG; n = 13) or without (RES; n = 18) MPG supplementation (250 mL drenched twice daily for 150 d). The average body condition score (BCS) of the heifers was 5.3 ± 0.2 on a scale from 1 to 10 (where 1 = emaciated and 10 = obese). Body condition score and body weight were similar among the groups at calving and decreased after calving for all groups. However, body weight loss was around 10% greater for the RES and RES+MPG groups from wk 3 to 12 compared with UNR group. The length of the postpartum anestrous interval was similar for all groups (47, 51, and 45 ± 5 d for the UNR, RES, and RES+MPG, respectively). Average milk production, protein, fat, and lactose yields during the first 12 wk postpartum were greater in the UNR group than in the RES and RES+MPG groups. Feed restriction affected plasma concentrations of insulin, with lower concentrations in the RES group compared with the UNR group. There were no differences in plasma concentrations of insulin between the RES+MPG group and the UNR or RES groups. An effect of feed restriction was observed on insulin-like growth factor-I concentrations and also a treatment by time interaction with a changing pattern through time as concentrations in the UNR group increased relative to the RES and RES+MPG groups. There were no differences in growth hormone concentrations among the groups. Glucose concentrations were lower in the RES group when compared with RES+MPG and UNR groups and this difference lessened over time. Plasma concentrations of nonesterified fatty acids were greater in the RES group compared with the RES+MPG and UNR groups. Leptin concentrations in the UNR group were greater than in the RES and RES+MPG groups. Hepatic growth hormone receptor 1A, total growth hormone receptor, and insulin-like growth factor-I relative mRNA expressions decreased postpartum with no effect of feed restriction, MPG supplementation, or interaction between time and treatment. During a challenge with MPG, insulin secretion was stimulated but no effect on postpartum anestrous interval in the treatment groups was observed. It was concluded that restricted pasture availability postpartum in dairy heifers calving in optimal BCS had no effect on the postpartum anestrous interval. It did however decrease milk production; thus, we can infer that monopropylene glycol supplementation does not act to prevent loss of milk yield.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1822-1833
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume91
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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