Exploring the role of milk yield in the first week of lactation on the association between hyperketonemia and reproductive performance in dairy cattle

Zelmar Rodriguez, Erin M Wynands, Elise Shepley, L. H. Baumgard, G. Cramer, L. S. Caixeta

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5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objective of this retrospective cohort study was to investigate whether the association of hyperketonemia (HYK) with reproductive performance differs based on milk production during the first week of lactation (wk 1). Data between calving and 150 d in milk (DIM) from 2,091 Holstein dairy cows from 5 commercial dairy herds in Minnesota were collected. The concentration of β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) was measured twice between 3 and 10 DIM in whole blood to diagnose HYK (defined as BHB ≥1.2 mmol/L). The average wk 1 milk yield was classified into 3 levels (low = lower 25th percentile; mid = 25th to 75th percentile; high = upper 75th percentile) according to parity and herd. Log-binomial regression, Cox-proportional hazard regression, and linear regression models were used to investigate the association of HYK with pregnancy to first insemination, pregnancy by 150 DIM, and calving-to-conception interval (CCI) between groups, respectively. To describe the differences in these estimates between each wk 1 milk yield level, an interaction term of HYK and stratified levels of wk 1 milk yield was added. The incidence of HYK between 3 to 10 DIM was 14.2% (4.6% in primiparous cows and 19.4% in multiparous cows). In the study population, the effect of HYK on reproduction was greater in cows with low milk yield. Among cows with low milk yield levels, HYK was associated with lower risk of pregnancy to first insemination [risk ratio = 0.62; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.39–0.98], lower risk of pregnancy up to 150 DIM (hazard ratio = 0.70; 95% CI: 0.51–0.96), and extended days of CCI (mean difference = 13.0; 95% CI: 5.1–20.9). In contrast, among cows with mid and high wk 1 milk yield levels, hyperketonemic (HYK+) cows had a similar reproductive performance to non-HYK (HYK−) cows. Our results suggest that early-lactation milk yield plays a role in the association of hyperketonemia with reproductive performance. These results merit further investigation to determine the role that early milk yield has in the association of hyperketonemia with health and productivity outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
JournalJDS Communications
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022

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