Energy metabolism of pregnant zebu and crossbred zebu dairy cattle.


Lage HF(1), Borges ALDCC(1), Silva RRE(1), Borges AM(1), Ruas JRM(2), Carvalho PHA(1), Fonseca MPD(1), Vivenza PAD(1), Gonçalves LC(1), Souza AS(1), Carvalho AÚ(1), Facury Filho EJ(1), Silva EA(3), Glória JRD(1), Ferreira AL(1), Meneses RM(1), Saliba EOS(1).
Author information:
(1)Veterinary School, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
(2)Departament of Animal Science, Unimontes, Janaúba, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
(3)Empresa de Pesquisa Agropecuária de Minas Gerais, Uberaba, Minas Gerais, Brazil.


The purpose of this study was to determine the energy partition of pregnant F1 Holstein x Gyr with average initial body weight (BW) of 515.6 kg and Gyr cows with average initial BW of 435.1 kg at 180, 210 and 240 days of gestation, obtained using respirometry. Twelve animals in two groups (six per genetic group) received a restricted diet equivalent to 1.3 times the net energy for maintenance (NEm). The proportion of gross energy intake (GEI) lost as feces did not differ between the evaluated breeds and corresponded to 28.65% on average. The daily methane production (L/d) was greater for (P<0.05) F1 HxG compared to Gyr animals. However, when expressed as L/kg dry matter (DM) or as percentage of GEI there were no differences between the groups (P>0.05). The daily loss of energy as urine (mean of 1.42 Mcal/d) did not differ (P>0.05) between groups and ranged from 3.87 to 5.35% of the GEI. The metabolizable energy intake (MEI) of F1 HxG animals was greater (P < 0.05) at all gestational stages compared to Gyr cows when expressed in Mcal/d. However, when expressed in kcal/kg of metabolic BW (BW0,75), the F1 HxG cows had MEI 11% greater (P<0.05) at 240 days of gestation and averaged 194.39 kcal/kg of BW0,75. Gyr cows showed no change in MEI over time (P>0.05), with a mean of 146.66 kcal/kg BW0. 75. The ME used by the conceptus was calculated by deducting the metabolizable energy for maintenance (MEm) from the MEI, which was obtained in a previous study using the same cows prior to becoming pregnant. The values of NEm obtained in the previous study with similar non-pregnant cows were 92.02 kcal/kg BW0.75 for F1 HxG, and 76.83 kcal/kg BW0.75 for Gyr (P = 0.06). The average ME for pregnancy (MEp) was 5.33 Mcal/d for F1 HxG and 4.46 Mcal/d for Gyr. The metabolizability ratio, averaging 0.60, was similar among the evaluated groups (P>0.05). The ME / Digestible Energy (DE) ratio differed between groups and periods evaluated (P<0.05) with a mean of 0.84. The heat increment (HI) accounted for 22.74% and 24.38% of the GEI for F1 HxG and Gyr cows, respectively. The proportion of GEI used in the basal metabolism by pregnant cows in this study represented 29.69%. However, there were no differences between the breeds and the evaluation periods and corresponded to 29.69%. The mean NE for pregnancy (NEp) was 2.76 Mcal/d and did not differ between groups and gestational stages (P>0.05).