Metabolic disorders around transition: from negative energy balance to subclinical ketosis
Metabolic disorders can have a significant effect on a cow’s lactation performance, fertility, overall health, and longevity. Most metabolic disorders occur around calving and are associated with the transition from dry period to lactation. Even though we are constantly improving the nutrition and management of cows during transition, metabolic disorders are still a major risk due to pushing genetics towards more and more milk production.
The most common metabolic disorder, with the highest impact on productivity in transition cows, is ketosis, especially subclinical ketosis, occurring as a result of negative energy balance (NEB). Subclinical ketosis is a costly disorder, impacting on milk yields throughout the entire lactation, as well as affecting the reproductive performance and immune status of the dairy cow. Data shows that subclinical ketosis leads to a decrease in dry matter intake DMI of up to 20% and an average 2kg reduction in milk yield.