Influence of diet composition, dry-matter intake, milk production and energy balance on time of post-partum ovulation and fertility in dairy cows


Lactating Holstein-Friesian cows from two calving groups (no. = 90) were studied during the early post-partum period to determine the effect of dry-matter intake (DM1), 40 g/kg fat-corrected milk (FCM) production, energy balance (EB), parity, and food additives (calcium salts of long-chain fatty acids [CaLCFA] and niacin) on the recrudescence of ovarian function and establishment of pregnancy. Cows that ovulated early during the post-partum period (15 to 21 days after calving) consumed more food and tended to produce more FCM compared with cows ovulating later (22 to 42 days or after 42 days). Primiparous cows had lower EB and tended to have longer intervals to first ovulation compared with multiparous cows but the average interval to pregnancy was similar for primiparous and multiparous cows. Feeding CaLCFA tended to extend the interval to first service and decreased pregnancy rate. Production characteristics (including DMI and FCM production) seem to determine interval from calving to first ovulation as well as interval from calving to pregnancy (days open). Fertility was affected negatively by feeding CaLCFA.


Biological Sciences

Publication Date


Journal Title

Animal Science


Cambridge University Press

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Document Type



© British Society of Animal Science 1992