Effects of Pre-Calving Body Condition and Different post partum Concentrate Feed Proportions on Immune-Associated and Hematological Parameters in Pluriparous Dairy Cows
The present study aimed at evaluating the influences of different concentrate feed proportions in the ration offered to dairy cows post partum with different body condition scores (BCS) before calving. Therefore, 60 pluriparous cows were divided 42 days before expected calving into two groups with a higher or an adequate BCS. After calving, both groups were further subdivided into a group fed a ration with either a low concentrate feed proportion (C, 35% at dry matter basis) or a high (60% at dry matter basis) one. It was hypothesized that different BCS would lead to different reactions concerning varying concentrate feed proportions. Isolated BCS effects were detected in the white blood profile only before calving. Neither low nor high concentrate feed proportions affected hematological, blood immune cell phenotypes and inflammatory markers consistently irrespective of BCS group. It was concluded, that the assessed BCS span covered a range in which the capability of cows to cope with different dietary post partum energy supply remained unchanged.