Negative energy balance of dairy cows: Association with behavior and minimizing risk

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Moore, Sydney
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University of Guelph

The overall objective of my thesis research was to develop a further understanding of how negative energy balance (NEB) relates to the behavior of dairy cows and how to minimize the risk of NEB in early lactation. In a first study, where cows were diet-induced into a state of NEB, it was demonstrated that greater NEB was associated with greater selection for the more energy-dense components of the diet and against the longer-less energy dense fractions of the diet, especially when fed a diet that is easily sorted. In a second study, it was determined that the supplementation of a molasses-based liquid feed through an automated milking system to fresh cows had a tendency to improve cow metabolic health. Cows receiving the additional energy supplement demonstrated improved energy balance and lost less body condition across the first 60 days in milk.

early lactation dairy cows, ketosis, automated milking systems, feeding behavior, molasses, feed sorting, negative energy balance