Supplementation of Holstein Cows with Low Doses of Bovine Somatotropin (bST) Prepartum and Postpartum Affects Physiological Adaptations and Milk Production

  • Liboni, M. (Vallee S/A - Av. Eng. L. C. Berrini) ;
  • Gulay, M.S. (Department of Physiology, Veterinary Faculty, Mehmet Akif Ersoy University) ;
  • Hayen, M.J. (University of Florida, Department of Animal Sciences) ;
  • Belloso, T.I. (Monsanto Company) ;
  • Head, H.H. (University of Florida, Department of Animal Sciences)
  • Received : 2007.08.09
  • Accepted : 2007.11.06
  • Published : 2008.03.01


Major objectives were to evaluate effects of three schemes of bST-supplementation of Holstein cows (142.8 mg/14 d, POSILAC) during the prepartum and/or postpartum periods through 63 d (${\pm}3d$) of lactation. Measures evaluated the potential of treatments to improve body weight (BW) and body condition score (BCS), provoke changes in plasma concentrations of somatotropin (ST) and IGF-I, and improve milk yield, milk composition (percentages of protein and fat, and somatic cell counts), and several calving variables. Multiparous Holstein cows were randomly assigned to a $2{\times}2$ factorial arrangement of treatments (TRT) to give four groups (I = no bST, n = 26; II = bST postpartum, n = 25; III = bST prepartum, n = 27; IV = bST prepartum and postpartum, n = 25). During the prepartum period, cows in groups I and II were not supplemented but those in groups III and IV were supplemented every 2-wk beginning 21 d before expected calving date through calving. During the first 63 DIM only cows in groups II and IV were supplemented with bST. From 64 DIM through the end of lactation cows in all groups were supplemented with the full lactation dose of bST (500 mg/14 d). The BW and BCS were recorded weekly throughout the prepartum and postpartum periods and every 2-wk beyond 70 DIM. Blood samples were collected 3-times a week for analyses of ST and IGF-I. Milk yields were recorded daily though 150 DIM. Prepartum supplementation of bST did not affect BW or BCS, but mean concentrations of ST were increased 12.2% and were 15.5% greater at calving. Overall, mean concentration of IGF-I was not affected by treatment but concentrations were greater at 1 and 2 wk before calving in bST-supplemented cows. During the first 63 DIM the BW and BCS were not affected by treatment. Significant effects of bST-supplementation were detected on concentrations of ST, IGF-I and on milk yield compared to non-supplemented cows in group I. Postpartum concentrations of ST were greater in bST-supplemented cows (TRT II and IV; +41.9 and 54.6%). However, concentrations of IGF-I were greater only in cows in group IV (+25.9%) during the postpartum period. Overall, the three bST-supplemented groups had greater actual milk yield than the control group (I) during the first 63 and 150 DIM. The actual milk yields during 63 and 150 DIM were 6.5 and 4.6 kg/d greater for cows in group IV than cows in group I and the 305-d ME milk yield also was 15.6% greater. No adverse effects of TRT were observed on calf birth weight, colostrum immunoglobulins, ease of calving or other measures evaluated.


bST;Holstein Cows;Hormones;Milk Production;Transition Period


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