Effects of cooling dry cows under heat load conditions on mammary gland enzymatic activity, intake of food and water, and performance during the dry period and after parturition

G. Adin, A. Gelman, R. Solomon, I. Flamenbaum, M. Nikbachat, E. Yosef, A. Zenou, A. Shamay, Y. Feuermann, S. J. Mabjeesh, J. Miron*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations

Abstract

Effect of evaporative cooling of pregnant dairy cows under heat load conditions during the dry and close-up period, on mammary gland enzymatic activity and intake of food and water, BCS, and milk performance after calving were measured in two consequent experiments. In experiment 1, 18 dry cows held in tie-stalls in a closed aerated barn under heat load conditions were used to measure the effect of evaporative cooling on the respiratory rate and body temperature, individual intake of food and water, enzymes expression level in mammary gland and adipose tissues, and BCS changes until calving. In experiment 2, two groups of 36 dry cows each, held in a commercial loose housing barn, were used to measure the effects of evaporative cooling under heat load conditions on calves' birth weight, colostrum quality and quantity, BCS changes and milk yield during 90 DIM. The non cooled (NC) cows responded to heat load by increasing their respiratory rate and daily water intake, while elevating their rectal temperature by 0.2-0.3 °C as compared with the cooled (C) cows. The external relief of heat load by the C cows in both experiments was expressed in increasing their voluntary DMI during the dry period as compared with the NC group. In experiment 2 the calves' birth weight of C cows was higher, and their colostrum quality and quantity were improved as compared with the NC group. Cooling also improved significantly BCS gain during the last 21 days until parturition, accompanied with higher cell proliferation process (based on enzymes expression at mRNA level) in the mammary gland of the C cows. Consequently, a significant increase in milk production by 5.3%, protein yield by 5.1%, ECM yield by 4.2% and FCM yield by 4.5%, was demonstrated in the C cows during 90 DIM as compared with the NC group.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)189-195
Number of pages7
JournalLivestock Science
Volume124
Issue number1-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to express our appreciation to the Volcani Center dairy farm team for their efforts in cooling and feedings the cows, and to Mr. Idan Ben-Hanan and the team of Hotam Dairy Farm for their contribution. To Dr. Amir Bor for the performance of the biopsy of the mammary and the fat tissue in experiment 1. To Dr. Ilan Dagoni, the veterinarian of Hotam Dairy for determining of BCS and diagnoses of post parturient disorder. This study was supported by a research grant of the Israeli Milk Council.

Keywords

  • Dry and close-up cow
  • Evaporative cooling
  • Intake
  • Milk performance

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