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Factors causing a higher level of liver abscesses in organic compared with conventional dairy herds

Jorgensen, K. F.; Kjeldsen, A. M.; Strudsholm, F. and Vestergaard, M. (Eds.) (2005) Factors causing a higher level of liver abscesses in organic compared with conventional dairy herds. [Faktorer af betydning for et højere niveau af leverbylder hos økologiske sammenlignet med konventionelle malkebesætninger.] Wageningen Academic Publisher, The Netherlands, EAAP Book of Abstracts, no. 11. Proceedings of Annual Meeting of the European Association for Animal Production, Uppsala, Sweden, 5.-8. June 2005.

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A data analysis based on the Danish Cattle Data Base shows that organic Holstein-Friesian cows have significantly higher frequencies of liver abscesses (LA) than conventional Holstein-Friesian cows (8% versus 5%). Based on a questionnaire among 91 organic dairy herds, a statistical analysis was made in order to identify which feeding and management factors that were related to the level of LA in the herds. Compared with conventional herds, the feed ration in organic herds had a lower energy and fatty acid level and a higher starch level. During summer season the organic herds had a lower level of digestible cell walls in the ration. Organic herds with a higher grazing level had a higher level of LA (P=0.012). Increasing levels of grain also tended to increase the level of LA. A herd-based analysis (644 herds) showed that lower minimum fat percentage and a higher variation in both fat and protein percentage corresponded with higher levels of LA. Organic herds generally had a 0.1 unit lower fat percentage. The results indicate that organic dairy cows, compared with conventional dairy cows, are more exposed to rumen acidosis and liver abscesses due to higher starch levels and unbalanced feeding strategies in particular during grazing.

EPrint Type:Proceedings
Keywords:Nutrition, health, liver abscesses.
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Animal husbandry > Feeding and growth
Research affiliation: Denmark > Other organizations
Denmark > SOAR - Research School for Organic Agriculture and Food Systems
Deposited By: Jørgensen, Ms. Kirstine Flintholm
ID Code:5953
Deposited On:08 Sep 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:31
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted
Commentary on Outside Item:Fonden for Økologisk Jordbrug

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