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Assessment of Metabolic Adaptations in Periparturient Dairy Cows Provided 3-Nitrooxypropanol and Varying Concentrate Proportions by Using the GreenFeed System for Indirect Calorimetry, Biochemical Blood Parameters and Ultrasonography of Adipose Tissues

Methanogenesis in ruminants contributes to both greenhouse gas emissions and feed energy losses whereby the latter becomes specifically important in energy-deficient periparturient cows. It was hypothesized that increased concentrate feed proportions (CFP) and feeding with the methane inhibitor 3-nitrooxypropanol (3-NOP), as well as their potential synergism, improve the energy status of peripartal cows. Periparturient dairy cows were fed low or high dietary CFP either tested without or combined with 3-NOP. The GreenFeed system was used to calculate the metabolic respiration quotient (RQmetabolic) and tissue energy retention (ERtissue) by methods of indirect calorimetry. The calorimetrically estimated ERtissue coincided with a conventionally calculated energy balance except for the antepartal period. Neither CFP nor 3-NOP affected the ultrasonographically assessed lipomobilization in adipose depots. In the group fed 3-NOP and a high concentrate feed proportion, the RQmetabolic significantly rose over the course of the experiment and the ERtissue was also increased. Serum non-esterified fatty acid concentrations were lower in the 3-NOP groups albeit ß-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) remained unaffected. Higher CFP reduced BHB and increased blood glucose levels. In conclusion, 3-NOP and high CFP improved the energy budget of the cows in an interactive manner, which was, however, not apparent in all of the examined parameters. The application of the GreenFeed system for indirect calorimetry is a promising approach, which needs further validation in the future.



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