Factors affecting the fertility of high producing dairy herds in northeastern Spain

I. García-Ispierto, F. López-Gatius, P. Santolaria, J. L. Yániz, C. Nogareda, M. López-Béjar

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70 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Infertility has been often correlated to a rising milk yield in high producing dairy cattle. The aim of the present study was to evaluate, using logistic regression procedures, the effects of several management indicators on the fertility of four dairy herds in northeastern Spain. Data derived from 10,965 artificial insemination (AI). The factors examined were: herd, milking frequency (three versus two milkings per day), lactation number, previous twinning and disorders such as placenta retention and pyometra, milk production at AI, the inseminating bull, season (warm versus cool period) and year effects, AI technician and repeat breeding syndrome (cows undergoing four or more AI). Our findings indicated no effects on fertility of the herd, year of AI, previous twining, placenta retention and pyometra and milk production at AI. Based on the odds ratios, the likelihood of pregnancy decreased: in cows milked three times per day (by a factor of 0.62); for each one unit increase in lactation number (by a factor of 0.92); for inseminations performed during the warm period (by a factor of 0.67); in repeat breeder cows (by a factor of 0.73); and when 3 of the 45 inseminating bulls included in the study were used (by factors of 0.35, 0.43 and 0.44, respectively). Of the 13 AI technicians participating in the study, 3 were related to a fertility rate improved by odds ratios of 1.86, 1.84 and 1.30, respectively, whereas 2 technicians gave rise to fertility rates reduced by odds ratios of 0.64 and 0.49, respectively. Under our study conditions, management practices were able to compensate for the effects of previous twining and reproductive disorders such as placenta retention and pyometra. However, fertility was significantly affected by the factors milking frequency, AI technician, inseminating bull, repeat breeding syndrome, lactation number and AI season. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)632-638
JournalTheriogenology
Volume67
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2007

Keywords

  • Dairy cows
  • Fertility
  • Management
  • Milking frequency

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