Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 November 2017
In order to understand the complex changes associated with lactation in the dairy cow it is necessary to assess the contribution of the non-carcass components. It has been shown with sheep (Cowan, Robinson, Greenhalgh and McHattie, 1979) that a number of tissues may be mobilised during lactation with a redistribution of tissues particularly towards the gut and udder, and that diet may have a significant effect. Butler-Hogg, Wood and Bines (1985), using Friesian dairy cows showed changes in the weights of guts, internal fat depots (omental, mesenteric and perinephric) and liver with stage of lactation although the number of stages examined was somewhat limited. The present experiment investigates changes in non-carcass component weights at 9 points over the first 29 weeks of lactation and with 3 levels of concentrate supplementation.