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Dry period and early post-partum management are decisive factors for fertility in lactating dairy cows. Previous studies have shown that decreased dry matter intake (DMI) and increased non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) negatively affect fertility and subsequent milk production. The traditional dry period decreases DMI prior to parturition, resulting in a decrease in energy intake. A negative energy balance increases NEFA concentration, and increased NEFA may impair the immune system, especially by decreasing neutrophil function prior to parturition. Earlier studies have shown that post-partum health disorders, including retained placenta and metritis, were correlated with periparturient neutrophil function. In addition, decreased DMI is also linked to a reduced body condition score (BCS) in dairy cows. These events in the periparturient period negatively affect fertility. Some manipulation, such as shortening the dry period, may be a solution to increased DMI in the periparturient period, preventing post-partum disorders and subsequent fertility issues. This article aims to explain the effects of shortening the dry period on reproduction and early post-partum treatments to improve fertility. In addition, timed artificial insemination protocols will be discussed for use during the post-partum period to improve fertility in dairy cows.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Uludag, Bursa, Turkey Department of Dairy Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Reproduction in domestic animals = Zuchthygiene
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