Association between hyperketolactia and production in early-lactating dairy cows

Z. M. Kowalski, M. Sabatowicz, R. J. Van Saun, W. Młocek, W. Jagusiak, M. Spanghero, C. D. Dechow

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Study aims were to investigate associations of hyperketolactia (HYKL) status of Holstein dairy cows between 6 and 60 d in milk (DIM), defined by milk acetone (mACE) and β-hydroxybutyrate (mBHB) content, with daily milk yield and composition. Milk samples (∼5.0 million) were collected over a 5-yr period (2014–2019) within the milk recording system in Poland. Concentrations of mACE and mBHB determined by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy were used to categorize samples into 4 ketolactia groups. Based on threshold values of ≥0.15 mmol/L mACE and ≥0.10 mmol/L mBHB, ketolactia groups were normoketolactia (NKL; mACE <0.15 mmol/L and mBHB <0.10 mmol/L), BHB hyperketolactia (HYKLBHB; mACE <0.15 mmol/L and mBHB ≥0.10 mmol/L), ACE hyperketolactia (HYKLACE; mACE ≥0.15 mmol/L and mBHB <0.10 mmol/L), and ACE and BHB hyperketolactia (HYKLACEBHB; mACE ≥0.15 mmol/L and mBHB ≥0.10 mmol/L). To investigate ketolactia association with production outcomes, a linear model was developed, including ketolactia group, DIM, parity, their interactions, year-season as fixed effects, and random effects of herd and cow. Among all milk samples, 31.2% were classified as HYKL, and of these, 52.6%, 39.6%, and 7.8% were HYKLACEBHB, HYKLBHB, and HYKLACE, respectively. Ketolactia groups differed for all traits studied in all parities and DIM. Among HYKL groups, lowest milk yield was found in HYKLACEBHB cows, except for 6 to 30 DIM in first- and second-lactation cows. Milk yield of HYKLBHB cows was higher than that of NKL cows until 20 to 30 DIM, and then it was lower than NKL cows. Milk yield of HYKLACE cows was mostly lower than NKL cows. Energy-corrected milk (ECM) yield of HYKLACEBHB cows was higher than that of NKL cows until 30 to 35 DIM for second lactation and third lactation or greater, and in the whole study period for first lactation. The yield of ECM for HYKLBHB cows was mostly higher than that of NKL cows, whereas HYKLACE cows had higher ECM than NKL cows until 15 to 25 DIM and then was lower for the HYKLACE group. Milk composition differed among HYKL groups. Highest milk fat (MF) and lowest milk lactose (ML) contents were observed in HYKLACEBHB cows. Cows in HYKLACEBHB and HYKLBHB groups had higher MF and lower milk protein (MP; except in 6–8 DIM in first lactation) and ML content than NKL cows. Milk fat content was higher in HYKLACE than NKL cows in first lactation and during the first 30 to 40 DIM in older cows. Lactose content was lower in HYKLACE than in NKL cows within 30 to 40 DIM; afterward it was higher in NKL cows. Lower MP content was found in HYKLACE than in NKL cows, except during 6 to 9 DIM for cows in first lactation and third lactation or greater. In conclusion, HYKL is associated with altered milk production in all parities, but a range of these negative relations depends on ketone status addressing both ACE and BHB contents. Further research is needed to ascertain underpinning biochemical defects of HYKL from elevated ACE, alone or in combination with BHB, during early lactation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9532-9551
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of dairy science
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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