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ARS Home » Plains Area » Miles City, Montana » Livestock and Range Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #307627

Research Project: Alleviating Rate Limiting Factors that Compromise Beef Production Efficiency

Location: Livestock and Range Research Laboratory

Title: Delaying postpartum supplementation in cows consuming low-quality forage does not alter cow and calf productivity

Author
item Mulliniks, J - University Of Tennessee
item Sawyer, J - Texas A&M University
item Waterman, Richard
item Petersen, Mark

Submitted to: Agricultural Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/24/2016
Publication Date: 9/27/2016
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/5695433
Citation: Mulliniks, J.T., Sawyer, J.E., Waterman, R.C., Petersen, M.K. 2016. Delaying postpartum supplementation in cows consuming low-quality forage does not alter cow and calf productivity. Animal Feed Science And Technology. 7:642-649.

Interpretive Summary: Reducing the amount of supplemental feed postpartum without affecting productivity may enhance profitability of cow-calf operations. Therefore, sixteen 2-yr-old fall calving cows were used to evaluate effects of delaying postpartum supplementation on milk production, serum metabolites, cow and calf BW change. Cows were stratified by calving date and randomly assigned to one of two treatments: 908 g/d of a 46% CP supplement beginning 5 d postpartum (Supp5, n = 7); or 908 g/d of the same supplement beginning 30 d postpartum (Supp30, n = 9). Supplements were formulated to provide 425 g/d of CP with 225 g coming from RUP, and were fed twice weekly. Cows were daily fed 8.2 kg chopped sudangrass hay (5.5% CP, 74% NDF, OM basis) during lactation. Cows and calves were weighed before feeding on two consecutive days on d 0, d 30, and d 80 postpartum. Milk production and constituents were evaluated on d 90. Cow BW was not different at d 0 (!' = 0.21) and 80 (P = 0.12) Between treatment groups. Cows receiving supplement on d 5 were heavier (P = 0.04) at d 30 than their counterpart. However, no differences (P = 0.17) were found in BW change or ADG during the duration of the study. Milk production was similar (P = 0.99) for postpartum supplementation treatments. No differences (P = 0.27) were observed in milk fat, lactose, protein, or solids-non-fat. However, there was a tendency (P = 0.09) for milk urea N to be greater for cows receiving supplement on d 5 than d 30 of lactation. Serum urea N was greater (P = 0.02) in cows receiving Supp5 than cows receiving Supp30. Serum NEFA and glucose concentrations were not different (P = 0.40) between treatment groups. Calf BW and ADG was not influenced (P = 0.81) by timing of initial postpartum supplementation. These results indicate that withholding supplementation during the first 30 d postpartum may change pattern of cow BW loss without affecting net BW loss, milk production, or calf growth. Therefore, timing of postpartum supplementation can be manipulated to reduce amount of feed provided without sacrificing cow or calf productivity.

Technical Abstract: Reducing the amount of supplemental feed postpartum without affecting productivity may enhance profitability of cow-calf operations. Therefore, sixteen 2-yr-old fall calving cows were used to evaluate effects of delaying postpartum supplementation on milk production, serum metabolites, cow and calf BW change. Cows were stratified by calving date and randomly assigned to one of two treatments: 908 g/d of a 46% CP supplement beginning 5 d postpartum (Supp5, n = 7); or 908 g/d of the same supplement beginning 30 d postpartum (Supp30, n = 9). Supplements were formulated to provide 425 g/d of CP with 225 g coming from RUP, and were fed twice weekly. Cows were daily fed 8.2 kg chopped sudangrass hay (5.5% CP, 74% NDF, OM basis) during lactation. Cows and calves were weighed before feeding on two consecutive days on d 0, d 30, and d 80 postpartum. Milk production and constituents were evaluated on d 90. Cow BW was not different at d 0 (!' = 0.21) and 80 (P = 0.12) Between treatment groups. Cows receiving supplement on d 5 were heavier (P = 0.04) at d 30 than their counterpart. However, no differences (P = 0.17) were found in BW change or ADG during the duration of the study. Milk production was similar (P = 0.99) for postpartum supplementation treatments. No differences (P = 0.27) were observed in milk fat, lactose, protein, or solids-non-fat. However, there was a tendency (P = 0.09) for milk urea N to be greater for cows receiving supplement on d 5 than d 30 of lactation. Serum urea N was greater (P = 0.02) in cows receiving Supp5 than cows receiving Supp30. Serum NEFA and glucose concentrations were not different (P = 0.40) between treatment groups. Calf BW and ADG was not influenced (P = 0.81) by timing of initial postpartum supplementation. These results indicate that withholding supplementation during the first 30 d postpartum may change pattern of cow BW loss without affecting net BW loss, milk production, or calf growth. Therefore, timing of postpartum supplementation can be manipulated to reduce amount of feed provided without sacrificing cow or calf productivity.