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Obese Cows Developing Type Two Diabetes

03 April 2009

UK - Obese cows are prone to developing "bovine type two diabetes", according to Dai Grove-White from Liverpool University.

The key to any dry cow feeding programme is minimising weight loss post-calving by maximising dry matter intakes. This will prevent the onset of post-natal conditions such as fatty liver or ketosis, reports FarmersWeeklyInteractive.

"Obesity is a real issue in dairy cows," Mr Grove-White told the news organisation. "Fat cows will have decreased dry matter intakes in the dry period and early lactation and increased weight loss in early lactation, making them more prone to fatty liver syndrome.

"In the long term they will also have reduced milk yields.

"Research suggests a lot of the processes involved in fatty liver are similar to type two diabetes in humans. We are getting to a stage where 'bovine type two diabetes' is a real problem.

"I would say any cow over body condition score three is obese. These are the ones that become hat-racks after calving."

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