Multiparous cows (n = 59) were blocked by expected calving date and previous milk yield and assigned randomly to treatments to determine the effects of bovine somatotropin (bST; Posilac, Monsanto Animal Agricultural Group, St. Louis, MO) and source of dietary fat on production responses. Diets were provided from calving and included whole, high-oil sunflower seeds [SS; 10% of dietary dry matter (DM); n-6:n-3 ratio of 4.6] as a source of linoleic acid (18:2) or a mixture of Alifet-High Energy and Alifet-Repro (AF; Alifet USA, Cincinnati, OH; 3.5 and 1.5% of dietary DM, respectively; n-6/n-3 ratio of 2.6) as a source of protected n-3 fatty acids. Diets contained 181 versus 188 g of crude protein and 183 versus 186 g of acid detergent fiber/kg of DM and 1.54 versus 1.66 Mcal of net energy for lactation at the actual DM intake for SS versus AF, respectively. Cows received 0 or 500 mg of bST every 10 d from 12 to 70 d in milk (DIM) and at 14-d intervals through 280 DIM. The 2 × 2 factorial combination of diet (SS or AF) with or without bST administration resulted in treatments designated as SSY, SSN, AFY, and AFN, respectively. Data were analyzed as repeated measures using mixed model procedures to determine the effects of diet, bST, and their interactions. Yield of 3.5% fat-corrected milk was not altered by diet, but was increased by 4.0 ± 1.9 kg/d from 12 to 70 DIM and by 5.1 ± 1.2 kg/d from 12 to 280 DIM by bST. Treatment did not affect DM intake or energy balance (EB) nadir. There was an interaction of bST and diet on EB because AF decreased the impact of bST on overall EB and allowed AFY cows to reach a positive EB earlier than SSY cows. Gross feed efficiency adjusted for body weight change was greater for bST-treated cows (1.03 vs. 1.15 ± 0.03 kg of fat-corrected milk/Mcal of net energy for lactation). Circulating insulin-like growth factor-I concentrations were increased by bST (85 vs. 125 ± 8 ng/ mL). Body weight, body condition score, and backfat thickness were reduced by bST, but differences between treated and nontreated cows did not differ by 280 DIM. Results indicate cows responded to bST administration in early lactation, but the magnitude of the response was greater after 70 DIM. Source of dietary fat had a minimal effect on most production measurements, but relative to SS, AF decreased the impact of bST on overall EB. Results support the premise that bST administration prolongs the delay in postpartum tissue replenishment.
- N-3 fatty acid