Submitted to: Journal of Dairy Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/22/2003
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to determine if daily walking activity along with daily milk yield could be used as predictors of metabolic and digestive disorders early in lactation. The data, collected from 1996 through 1999, were from 1445 dairy cows in three Florida herds. Activity and milk yield were collected from the Special Agricultural Equipment Afikim computerized dairy management system. Mixed models analysis was under taken on cows prior to their first detected heat identified by the difference in activity. A healthy cow was one that did not have an occurrence of a metabolic or digestive disorder during a full lactation. A sick cow had an occurrence of these disorders at any time during the current lactation. Metabolic disorders included Bovine Viral Diarrhea, ketosis, milk fever, and retained placenta. Digestive disorders included displaced abomasum, indigestion, reduced feed intake, traumatic gastritis, acidosis, and bloat. Individual diseases including ketosis, left displaced abomasum, retained placenta, and digestive disorders, were analyzed to find when activity and milk yield decreased before these specific disorders were clinically diagnosed. The beginning day of decline, relative to the day of diagnosis, for activity and milk yield is shown in the table below for cows clinically diagnosed with ketosis, left displaced abomasum, retained placenta, and digestive disorders. Daily milk yield of sick cows was approximately 15 kg/d less than the production of healthy cows. Considering these results, cows diagnosed with ketosis, left displaced abomasum, and general digestive disorders could be detected at least five to six days earlier based on changes in daily activity and milk yield.