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Field evidence of metabolic stress in dairy cows?

  • W. R. Ward (a1) and C. S. Parker (a2)


The authors review their experiences of metabolic profiles in dairy herds, with a view to assessing whether metabolic stress is a problem in Great Britain at present. Many cows show elevated blood beta-hydroxybutyrate concentration, indicating energy deficit, or elevated urea levels, indicating an imbalance between energy and protein in the rumen but at present there is no evidence that high-yielding cows in commercial herds show more metabolic stress than low-yielding cows. The authors suggest that more cows could suffer metabolic stress in the future, unless farmers’ ability to feed and manage dairy cows develops as rapidly as genetic selection for high milk yield.



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