Increasing Milking Intervals Decreases the Mammary Blood Flow and Mammary Uptake of Nutrients in Dairy Cows

Abstract : Increasing the milking intervals reduces milk yield. The aims of this study were to determine whether the reduction in milk yield could be explained by a decrease in mammary uptake of the nutrients or a decrease in the efficiency of the mammary gland in using the milk precursors to synthesize milk components, or both. In a Latin square design with 5 periods, 4 multiparous lactating dairy cows in midlactation were milked at 8-, 12-, 16-, or 24-h intervals over a period of 7 d. The cows were surgically prepared to estimate the net mammary balance of nutrient precursors of milk components (glucose, alpha-amino nitrogen, acetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and total glycerol). The efficiency of the mammary gland in synthesizing milk components was estimated by the mammary uptake:milk output ratio. After 7 d of treatment, the decrease in milk yield of 6.1 kg/d between 8- and 24-h milking intervals was associated with a reduction in the uptake of nutrients by the mammary gland, whereas the efficiency of the mammary gland in synthesizing milk components remained relatively unchanged. The mammary uptake decreased by 26% for glucose, 32% for alpha-amino nitrogen, 18% for acetate, 24% for total glycerol, and 24% for beta-hydroxybutyrate, respectively. These reductions in nutrient uptake were due to a decrease in the mammary blood flow (1.23 +/- 0.24 L/min). For milk fat precursors (acetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and total glycerol), the decrease in mammary blood flow explained the entire reduction in the mammary uptake. For glucose and the milk protein precursors, the reduction in the mammary blood flow explained 60% of the decrease in the mammary uptake, with the other 40% being accounted for by a reduction in the mammary extraction of nutrients. The nutrient uptake was altered as milk yield decreased. These decreases began with the 16-h milking interval and were higher at the 24-h milking interval.
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E. Delamaire, Jocelyne Guinard-Flament. Increasing Milking Intervals Decreases the Mammary Blood Flow and Mammary Uptake of Nutrients in Dairy Cows. Journal of Dairy Science, American Dairy Science Association, 2006, 89 (9), pp.3439 - 3446. ⟨10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(06)72381-5⟩. ⟨hal-01838564⟩

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