Sex of offspring influences metabolism during early transition period in dairy cows
- 1Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Messina, Polo Universitario dell'Annunziata, Messina, Italy
- 2Department of Animal Medicine, Productions and Health (MAPS), University of Padua, Padua, Italy
Abstract. A study using 20 Holstein Friesian cows was conducted to investigate the influence of calf gender on metabolism during the transition period in dairy cattle. Blood samples were collected at three time points: 2–4 days prepartum (time 1), and 1 week and 2 weeks postpartum (time 2 and time 3 respectively). Serum samples obtained were analysed for total proteins, albumin, urea, glucose, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). Depending on the sex of the offspring, cows were divided into two groups: Group 1 consisted of cows with heifer offspring (n = 12) and Group 2 consisted of cows with bull offspring (n = 8). A two-way repeated measures ANOVA and t tests for unpaired data were used to analyse the pattern of studied parameters and differences between the two groups. The results indicate differences in metabolic parameters between the two groups. These results highlight the importance of considering fetal sex as a factor that influences maternal metabolism during the early transition period in dairy cows.