Nutrient partitioning and response to insulin challenge at different planes of nutrition during lactation in goats of high vs. l

Author: P.B. Cronje, M. de Jager and E. Vlok
Year: 2000
Issue: 3
Volume: 30
Page: 178 - 185

The aim of this experiment was to determine the effect of genetic selection for milk production on nutrient partitioning at a high vs. a low plane of nutrition. Twelve Indigenous goat does and eight Saanen x Indigenous crossbred does were allocated to either a basal diet formulated to provide energy for maintenance or the basal diet supplemented with maize so as to maintain a plasma glucose concentration of 3.5 mmol/1 throughout lactation. Milk yield was not reduced by the low plane of nutrition in either genotype. The sustained rate of milk production at the low level of nutrition was achieved by increased mobilisation of endogenous nutrients from body reserves, evidenced as a greater loss of body mass at the low plane of nutrition in both breeds. The Saanen crossbred genotype, which produced twice as much milk as the Indigenous genotype, lost 19% of initial mass by week 10 of lactation, whereas mass losses in the indigenous goat never exceeded 7%, with the result that repletion of initial (week one) mass was achieved by week six of lactation. Plasma glucose concentrations were depressed to a smaller extent by insulin in the Saanen crossbred than in the Indigenous goat at weeks 3, 7 and 11 of lactation. Although there was evidence for a genotype x nutrition interaction during early lactation, this did not persist throughout lactation. The majority of data derived from this study indicates that the two genotypes reacted in a similar manner to plane of nutrition, with the main differences between milk yield potential being occasioned by differences in the extent of mobilisation of endogenous body reserves mediated by differences in insulin sensitivity.

Keywords: genotype, glucose, insulin, lactation, nutrition, ruminant
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