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2Animal Production Research Institute, Agricultural Research Center, Ministry of Agriculture, Cairo, Egypt
Propylene glycol (PG) and calcium propionate (CP) in saline solutions were drenched twice weekly to 18 Egyptian water-buffalo heifers at the last 8 weeks of gestation, besides a control group. The overall means of both treatments (particularly CP) significantly increased (P≤0.05) the feed intake of all ingredients, live body weight, reproductive performance; teat diameter, size, side area, area and length; calve birth weight, as well as daily and total milk production compared with the control. Both treatments significantly (P≤0.05) reduced blood urea nitrogen, β-hydroxybutyrate and non-essential fatty acids' values; but increased blood insulin, T3, and T4, concentrations and T3/T4 ratio. The CP treatment elevated (P≤0.05) also blood glucose level and milk fat and protein but reduced milk lactose %. Sampling time affected significantly (P≤0.05) daily feed intake, milk fat and lactose % as well as blood Na, K, Ca, P, T4 and insulin values, in addition to body condition score, live body weight, and udder form.