By Fernando Diaz

Most of the metabolic problems of the dairy cow happen during the first two weeks of lactation. It has been reported nearly 25% of the cows that leave herds do so during the first 60 days in milk (DIM). After calving, the requirements for energy increase due to colostrum production while dry-matter intake is reduced drastically. The mammary gland at four days postcalving has increased demands for glucose (3 times), amino acids (2x) and fatty acids (3x) when compared to the uterus at 250 days of gestation. The mismatch between nutrient intake and demand generates a negative energy balance during several weeks after calving.

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