Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 447966
Title Effects of shortening the dry period of dairy cows on milk production, energy balance, health, and fertility: A systemtic review
Author(s) Knegsel, A.T.M. van; Drift, S.G.A. van der; Cermáková, J.; Kemp, B.
Source The Veterinary Journal 198 (2013)3. - ISSN 1090-0233 - p. 707 - 713.
Department(s) Adaptation Physiology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2013
Keyword(s) subsequent lactation - metabolic status - holstein herds - short 35-d - length - performance - management - bovine - yields - heterogeneity
Abstract A dry period of 6–8 weeks for dairy cows is generally thought to maximise milk production in the next lactation. However, the value of such a long dry period is increasingly questioned. In particular, shortening the dry period shifts milk production from the critical period after calving to the weeks before calving. This shift in milk production could improve the energy balance (EB), health and fertility of dairy cows. The objective of this study was to systematically review the current knowledge on dry period length in relation to milk production, EB, fertility, and health of cows and calves. A meta-analysis was performed for variables where at least five studies were available. Overall, both shortening and omitting the dry period reduces milk production, increases milk protein percentage and tends to reduce the risk of ketosis in the next lactation. Individual studies reported an improvement of EB after a short or no dry period, compared with a conventional dry period. Shortening or omitting the dry period did not affect milk fat percentage and shortening the dry period did not alter the odds ratio for mastitis, metritis, or fertility measures in the next lactation. So, current evidence for an improvement of health and fertility of dairy cows is marginal and may be partly explained by the limited number of studies which have evaluated health and fertility in relation to dry period length, the limited number of animals in those studies and the variable responses reported.
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