Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Management practices associated with reproductive performance in Holstein cows on large commercial dairy farms

  • I. Fodor (a1), Zs. Abonyi-Tóth (a2) and L. Ózsvári (a1)
Abstract

As a result of the increase in herd size and the intensification of production, the complexity of reproductive management has been growing in dairy herds. The aim of our study was to examine the associations of management practices and reproductive performance in Holstein cows on large commercial dairy farms. Management practices applied to cows were surveyed between 22 May and 6 November 2015 in 34 large Holstein-Friesian dairy herds in Hungary. Individual data of 23 784 cows that calved between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2014 in the surveyed herds were gathered. Associations between the management practices and the reproductive parameters were analyzed by mixed effects models. Regarding heat abatement we found that ventilation with sprinklers was associated with the shortest breeding interval (P<0.01), the shortest calving to conception interval (P<0.01), and the highest odds of being pregnant by 200 days in milk (P<0.01). Solely ventilation showed similar (P>0.05) results to lack of heat stress protection. It was also revealed, that lack of a well-established voluntary waiting period (VWP) or a VWP shorter than 50 days was associated with less days to first service (P<0.01), shorter breeding interval (P<0.01) and calving to conception interval (P<0.05), as well as higher odds of carrying a calf by 200 days in milk (P<0.01) compared with those using a VWP of at least 50 days. Those farms that applied transrectal ultrasonography were more likely to use ventilation with sprinklers (P<0.05), hormonal synchronization (P<0.01) and to perform early pregnancy diagnosis followed by pregnancy recheck (P<0.05). The application of transrectal ultrasonography with one of the aforementioned practices was associated with reduced days to first service (P<0.05), shorter breeding interval (P<0.05) and higher odds of pregnancy at 200 days in milk (P<0.05). Our study highlights the management practices most closely related to improved reproductive performance, which are, therefore, suggested to be applied on dairy farms, considering the local circumstances of the individual farms.

Copyright
Corresponding author
References
Hide All
Bates, DM, Machler, M, Bolker, BM and Walker, SC 2015. Fitting linear mixed-effects models using lme4. Journal of Statistical Software 67, 148.
Box, GEP and Cox, DR 1964. An analysis of transformations. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series B (Methodological) 26, 211252.
Chapel, JM, Muiño, R, Pereira, V, Castillo, C, Hernández, J and Benedito, JL 2017. Relationship of BCS prepartum with reproductive performance and lipomobilization in Holstein dairy cows. Pakistan. Veterinary Journal 37, 215219.
Derks, M, van Werven, T, Hogeveen, H and Kremer, WDJ 2014. Associations between farmer participation in veterinary herd health management programs and farm performance. Journal of Dairy Science 97, 13361347.
Dijkhuizen, AA, Stelwagen, J and Renkema, JA 1984. Economic aspects of reproductive failure in dairy cattle. I. Financial loss at farm level. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 3, 251263.
Fodor, I, Cziger, Zs and Ózsvári, L 2016. Economic analysis of the application of reproductive ultrasound examinations on a large-scale dairy farm (in Hungarian with English abstract). Magyar Allatorvosok Lapja 138, 515522.
Fricke, PM 2002. Scanning the future – ultrasonography as a reproductive management tool for dairy cattle. Journal of Dairy Science 85, 19181926.
Hothorn, T, Bretz, F, Westfall, P and Heiberger, RM 2008. Simultaneous inference in general parametric models. Biometrical Journal 50, 346363.
Inchaisri, C, Jorritsma, R, Vos, PLAM, van der Weijden, GC and Hogeveen, H 2011. Analysis of the economically optimal voluntary waiting period for first insemination. Journal of Dairy Science 94, 38113823.
LeBlanc, S 2010. Assessing the association of the level of milk production with reproductive performance in dairy cattle. The Journal of Reproduction and Development 56 (suppl.), S1S7.
Lenth, R 2017. emmeans: estimated marginal means, aka least-squares means. R package version 1.0. Retrieved on 4 December 2017 from https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=emmeans
Lucy, MC 2001. Reproductive loss in high-producing dairy cattle: where will it end? Journal of Dairy Science 84, 12771293.
McDougall, S, Heuer, C, Morton, J and Brownlie, T 2014. Use of herd management programmes to improve the reproductive performance of dairy cattle. Animal 8 (suppl. 1), 199210.
Michaelis, I, Burfeind, O and Heuwieser, W 2014. Evaluation of oestrous detection in dairy cattle comparing an automated activity monitoring system to visual observation. Reproduction in Domestic Animals 49, 621628.
Neves, RC and LeBlanc, SJ 2015. Reproductive management practices and performance of Canadian dairy herds using automated activity-monitoring systems. Journal of Dairy Science 98, 28012811.
Ózsvári, L and Kerényi, J 2004. Quantification of losses due to reproductive disorders on a large-scale Holstein-Friesian dairy farm (in Hungarian with English abstract). Magyar Allatorvosok Lapja 126, 523531.
Pursley, JR, Mee, MO and Wiltbank, MC 1995. Synchronization of ovulation in dairy cows using PGF2alpha and GnRH. Theriogenology 44, 915923.
R Core Team 2017. R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. http://www.R-project.org/.
Reiczigel, J, Solymosi, N, Könyves, L, Maróti-Agóts, Á, Kern, A and Bartyik, J 2009. Examination of heat stress caused milk production loss by the use of temperature-humidity indices. Magyar Allatorvosok Lapja 131, 137144.
Schefers, JM, Weigel, KA, Rawson, CL, Zwald, NR and Cook, NB 2010. Management practices associated with conception rate and service rate of lactating Holstein cows in large, commercial dairy herds. Journal of Dairy Science 93, 14591467.
Souza, AH, Ayres, H, Ferreira, RM and Wiltbank, MC 2008. A new presynchronization system (Double-Ovsynch) increases fertility at first postpartum timed AI in lactating dairy cows. Theriogenology 70, 208215.
Stevenson, JS 2005. Breeding strategies to optimize reproductive efficiency in dairy herds. Veterinary Clinics of North America – Food Animal Practice 21, 349365.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

animal
  • ISSN: 1751-7311
  • EISSN: 1751-732X
  • URL: /core/journals/animal
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed