Influence of two different feeding strategies in the dry period on dry matter intake and plasma protein peroxidative and antioxidative profile during dry period and early lactation
BACKGROUND:Dairy cows undergo dramatic changes in endocrine and metabolic status around parturition and in early lactation. Meeting the nutritional requirements of transition dairy cows is important for animal health, production and animal wellbeing. Dry cow feeding and managing play an essential role in this. The changes in metabolism of periparturient cows also lead to a rise in the production of oxidising agents, leading to oxidative stress. The relationship between dry cow diet composition and oxidative stress has received little research attention so far. In the present study, the influence of two different dry cow feedings (single diet with medium energy content over the whole dry period versus traditional two-phase diet with a low-energy "far-off" ration and a high energy "close-up" ration) on dry matter intake, energy intake and plasma protein peroxidative and antioxidative profile was investigated. RESULTS:The examined parameters revealed a dynamic profile within the experimental period. Dry matter intake (DMI) did not differ between groups. However, there was a time and a group x time interaction effect: Group 1 ("one-phase") had a very constant DMI with a slow and even decrease until calving. In Group 2 ("two-phase"), an initial increase in DMI two weeks antepartum (a.p.) was followed by a sharp drop at week 1 a.p.. The highest total antioxidant capacity and sulfhydryl residue concentration was noted at partus. In contrast, concentration of formylokinurenine and bityrosine bridges as representatives of protein peroxidation were lowest at parturition. The time course of formylokinurenine and bityrosine bridges showed parallels to the DMI. The contents of sulfhydryl groups, formylokinurenine and total antixoxidant capacity did not differ between groups. In contrast, concentration of bityrosine bridges was always higher in Group 2 compared with Group 1 and these differences were statistically significant at week 3 a.p., week 2 a.p., week 1 a.p. and at parturition. CONCLUSION:The results of our study suggest time-related changes of pro- and antioxidative plasma parameters. Different dry cow feeding affected antepartal DMI. Furthermore, DMI and diet compositions seemed to have an influence on plasma protein peroxidative profile and activity of antioxidative defence.