Dietary Cation-Anion Difference and the health and production of pasture-fed dairy cows. 2. Non-lactating periparturient cows
Roche, JR and Dalley, D and Moate, P and Grainger, C and Rath, M and O'Mara, F, Dietary Cation-Anion Difference and the health and production of pasture-fed dairy cows. 2. Non-lactating periparturient cows, Journal of Dairy Science, 86, (3) pp. 979-987. ISSN 0022-0302 (2003) [Refereed Article]
Anecdotal observations of reduced hypocalcemia due to small reductions in the precalving dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) are widely reported in Australia and New Zealand. Diets offered to nonlactating, periparturient dairy cows in pasture-based dairy systems in southeastern Australia can vary in their cation-anion difference from 0 to +76 mEq/100 g. The effects of such a range in the DCAD on the health and production of cows, on a pasture-based diet, were examined in an indoor feeding experiment. Four groups of four cows were offered pasture-hay and freshly cut pasture, a periparturient diet typical of that associated with the grazing system in Australia and New Zealand. Varying levels of salt supplementation were used to alter the dietary cation-anion difference, which ranged from -12 to +69 mEq/100 g. Blood and urine pH and mineral concentrations and urine hydroxyproline were measured. The addition of anions to the diet, to produce a negative DCAD, resulted in a nonrespiratory systemic acidosis. With decreasing DCAD, the pH of blood and urine and the strong ion difference of urine decreased curvilinearly, blood bicarbonate decreased linearly and the urinary ratio of Ca to creatinine increased curvilin-early. Although systemic pH was not reduced at a DCAD of +16 mEq/100 g, urine Ca-to-creatinine ratio had begun to rise, probably indicating increased calcium absorption. The absorption and renal excretion of Mg increased with decreasing DCAD. No differences were observed in urine hydroxyproline concentrations and no significant differences in milk production were measured.