Ocurrence of subclinical metabolic disorders in beef cattle herds
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The aim of this study was to reveal -through the performance of a Metabolic Profile Test- the subclinical metabolic disorders in a beef herd which might have been caused by malnutrition and which probably have been the reason for the massive reproduction failure in the examined herd. The test results revealed on one hand metabolic disorders such as ketosis, acidosis and fat mobilization syndrome and on the other hand imbalances in the major nutrients. This led to the conclusion that tremendous mistakes were done regarding the nutritient supply. As a consequence the first part of the diploma thesis gave a basic outline of nutritional management regarding the influences on nutrient demands during a yearly reproduction cycle of mature beef cows. It could be shown that without taking the special needs of animals into consideration during their various production stages it is impossible to achieve good results in your cow-calf operation. The reproductive efficiency of a farm which is expressed by pregnancy rates, weaning rates and weight, calving intervals and live calving rates can and will be influenced throughout the entire production cycle. This study could reveal that the major approach to maximize these values is through a proper nutrient supply and as such the focus on the improvement of feeding programs must be regarded as the most important aspect of the herd management. The single most important „nutrient” is the energy. All the detected metabolic disorders resulted from an energy deficiency. In fact, changes in the nutrient demand of animals are mainly determined through variations of the needs of energy and protein and as a consequence every animal producer must first focus on these two values before dealing with the mineral status of his feed rations, as good quality feedstuffs provide already sufficient amounts of minerals. Reproduction failure due to dietary mismanagement is still one of the major reasons for decreased reproductive efficiency in farms all over the world. This emphasizes the huge existing unawareness of producers and often even non acceptance of new scientifically approaches in this field. In this respect veterinarians must see it as their task to further extend their professional field regarding the consultative work to inform comprehensively producers about nowadays proper herd management.