Energy balance was assessed during the first 13 weeks postpartum in 497 primiparous Holstein cows and the relationship with reproductive performance was investigated. A significant association was observed between body condition score (BCS) and a number of reproductive traits, including conception at first artificial insemination (AI), number of inseminations per conception, calving to conception and calving intervals, percentage pregnant by the end of a 305-day lactation and incidence of metritis. The BCS from calving to week 9 (before the first AI) appeared to adequately predict future reproductive performance as it was correlated with calving interval, conception at first AI, metritis and percentage pregnant by the end of a 305-day lactation. Plasma β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) concentrations were correlated with the latter trait only, whereas non-esterified fatty acid concentrations were not associated with reproductive performance.
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Provenance not commissioned; externally peer reviewed