Effects of calcium propionate by different numbers of applications in first week postpartum of dairy cows on hypocalcemia, milk production and reproductive disorders

KARA Ç., Orman A., UDUM D., Yavuz H. M., Kovanlikaya A.

ITALIAN JOURNAL OF ANIMAL SCIENCE, vol.8, no.2, pp.259-270, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 8 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.4081/ijas.2009.259
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.259-270
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


This study was conducted to evaluate effects of calcium propionate on hypocalcemia, dry matter intake, body condition score, milk production and reproductive disorders in dairy cows. Twenty four multiparous Holstein cows were sorted by parity, body condition score (BCS) in close-up period and season of calving and assigned to one of the three treatments. The cows in treatment 1 (T1) received two drenches at calving and 24h after calving. The cows in treatment 2 (T2) received three drenches at calving, 24h after calving and 7 days after calving. The cows in treatment 3 (T3) were the control. Each drench contained 143g of calcium as calcium propionate (0.68kg). Parameters studied were serum calcium, glucose and nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentrations, dry matter intake (DMI), BCS, milk production (MP), incidence of retained placenta (RP) and metritis. Milk fever developed in 5 of 8 cows, in 3 of 8 cows and in 3 of 8 cows in T1, T2 and T3, respectively, at calving. There was no cow with milk fever in T1 and T2 at 4h after second drench (about 28h after calving) but 3 of 8 cows in T3 had still milk fever at this time. The cows receiving two drenches recovered from milk fever in a shorter term as compared to the cows in T3. There were no differences among treatments for DMI, BCS, MP, RP, serum glucose and NEFA concentrations during the experimental period. There was no difference for metritis between T1 and T3 but incidence of metritis in T2 was significantly lower as compared to T3 (P<0.05). Two drenches of calcium propionate were beneficial in treating milk fever and three drenches of calcium propionate were considered to have had a preventive effect for metritis.