Accounting for energy and protein reserve changes in predicting diet-allowable milk production in cattle. Academic Article uri icon


  • Current ration formulation systems used to formulate diets on farms and to evaluate experimental data estimate metabolizable energy (ME)-allowable and metabolizable protein (MP)-allowable milk production from the intake above animal requirements for maintenance, pregnancy, and growth. The changes in body reserves, measured via the body condition score (BCS), are not accounted for in predicting ME and MP balances. This paper presents 2 empirical models developed to adjust predicted diet-allowable milk production based on changes in BCS. Empirical reserves model 1 was based on the reserves model described by the 2001 National Research Council (NRC) Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle, whereas empirical reserves model 2 was developed based on published data of body weight and composition changes in lactating dairy cows. A database containing 134 individually fed lactating dairy cows from 3 trials was used to evaluate these adjustments in milk prediction based on predicted first-limiting ME or MP by the 2001 Dairy NRC and Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System models. The analysis of first-limiting ME or MP milk production without adjustments for BCS changes indicated that the predictions of both models were consistent (r(2) of the regression between observed and model-predicted values of 0.90 and 0.85), had mean biases different from zero (12.3 and 5.34%), and had moderate but different roots of mean square errors of prediction (5.42 and 4.77 kg/d) for the 2001 NRC model and the Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System model, respectively. The adjustment of first-limiting ME- or MP-allowable milk to BCS changes improved the precision and accuracy of both models. We further investigated 2 methods of adjustment; the first method used only the first and last BCS values, whereas the second method used the mean of weekly BCS values to adjust ME- and MP-allowable milk production. The adjustment to BCS changes based on first and last BCS values was more accurate than the adjustment to BCS based on the mean of all BCS values, suggesting that adjusting milk production for mean weekly variations in BCS added more variability to model-predicted milk production. We concluded that both models adequately predicted the first-limiting ME- or MP-allowable milk after adjusting for changes in BCS.

published proceedings

  • J Dairy Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Tedeschi, L. O., Seo, S., Fox, D. G., & Ruiz, R.

citation count

  • 25

complete list of authors

  • Tedeschi, LO||Seo, S||Fox, DG||Ruiz, R

publication date

  • December 2006