Effects of short dry periods on performance and metabolic status in holstein dairy cows

A. Pezeshki, J. Mehrzad, G. R. Ghorbani, H. R. Rahmani, R. J. Collier, C. Burvenich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


To evaluate effects of different dry period lengths on milk yield, milk composition, and energy balance of dairy cows, 122 multiparous and primiparous Holstein dairy cows were used in a completely randomized experimental design with 56-, 42-, and 35-d dry period lengths. Actual dry period lengths for respective treatments (TRT) were 56 ± 5.1 d, 42 ± 2.1 d, and 35 ± 2.7 d. Overall, cows in the 42- and 56-d TRT gained more body condition than those in 35-d TRT during the dry period; however, postpartum body condition score did not change substantially among the TRT. Although from 3 to 210 DIM, differences were not detected in the milk yield of multiparous cows between the 35- and 56-d TRT, primiparous cows in the 35-d TRT produced less milk than those in 56-d TRT. In primiparous cows, the milk production at wk 9, 10, and 11 of lactation was lower in the 35-d compared with the 56-d TRT. Primiparous cows in the 35-d compared with the 56-d TRT produced less milk protein. In the 35-d TRT, serum triglyceride concentration was greater in primiparous cows than in multiparous cows during the peripartum period. Among primiparous cows, those in the 56-d TRT had greater concentrations of nonesterified fatty acids than those in the 35-d TRT during the peripartum period. No significant differences were observed in concentrations of serum glucose, insulin, and insulin-like growth factor-I during early lactation among TRT. There was also no difference among TRT for incidence of metabolic disorders. Thus, this study indicates that shortening the dry period to 35 d may be beneficial in multiparous and overconditioned cows, but not in primiparous cows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5531-5541
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of dairy science
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Dry period
  • Metabolic status
  • Performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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