Effects of Propylene Glycol on Milk Production, Serum Metabolites and Reproductive Performance during the Transition Period of Dairy Cows

  • Lien, T.F. (Department of Animal Science, National Chiayi University) ;
  • Chang, L.B. (Department of Animal Science, National Chiayi University) ;
  • Horng, Y.M. (Department of Animal Science, National Chiayi University) ;
  • Wu, Chean-Ping (Department of Animal Science, National Chiayi University)
  • Received : 2006.10.26
  • Accepted : 2008.04.30
  • Published : 2010.03.01


The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of an oral drench of propylene glycol (PG) on milk production, serum metabolites and reproductive performance during the transition period of animals. Twenty-four 2-3 multiparous Holstein cows (average body weight 565 kg, body condition score about 3.6, at the $9^{th}$ month of gestation) were selected, blocked, and then randomly assigned into a PG and a control group. The control and the PG group cows were orally drenched with water or 50 ml sugarcane molasses mixed with 500 ml PG from 7 days pre-partum to 30 days post-partum, respectively. Experimental results indicated that the oral drench PG had no effect on dry matter intake (DMI). The milk yield of the PG group was significantly higher than that of the control group (p<0.05), whereas milk fat content, milk protein and somatic cell counts (SCC) were not significantly different between groups. Concentration of plasma glucose in the PG group was significantly higher than that of the control group (p<0.05). Conversely, the concentrations of non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) in the PG group were lower than those of the control group (p<0.05). Concentrations of insulin and ketone bodies were not significantly difference between groups. Body condition score (BCS) in the PG group was significantly higher than that of the control group (p<0.05). In reproductive performance there was no difference between groups. The experimental results indicate that supplementation of PG during the transition period of dairy cows can supply energy rapidly, resulting in reduced catabolism of body tissue and increased milk yield.


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