Influence of management factors on pregnancy attrition in dairy cattle

J. Labèrnia, F. López-Gatius, P. Santolaria, M. López-Béjar, J. Rutllant

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    Abstract

    The present study was conducted to determine the influence of management factors on pregnancy attrition in dairy cattle. Data from 3162 diagnosed pregnancies in parous cows and 1050 in heifers at 9 commercial dairy herds in northeastern Spain were used. Pregnancy diagnosis by palpation per rectum was performed from 30 to 70 d post insemination. Pregnancy attrition was registered when pregnancy diagnosis resulted negative in a second palpation carried out between 120 and 150 d following insemination. Overall proportion of pregnancy losses was 7.9% (9.6% in parous cows and 2.8% in heifers). Data analysis was performed by multiple logistic regression methods. For all animals, effect of time of pregnancy diagnosis was shown (Odds ratio=0.97 for 1 d increase; P=0.0042). Conceptus loss in heifers was lower than in parous cows (Odds ratio=0.28; P=0.0001), and a higher proportion of pregnancy attritions was detected in animals inseminated in spring, summer and winter, compared to those inseminated in autumn (P<0.04). Herd effect on pregnancy attrition was also significant. Similar results were observed in the subanalysis for parous cows and, furthermore, no effect of lactation number and of interval from previous calving to pregnancy was shown in this group. In heifers, no effect of time of pregnancy diagnosis and of insemination season on pregnancy attrition was shown, and only a herd effect was observed. Our data suggest that the influence of parity status (heifer vs cow) could affect the proportion of pregnancy attrition rather than early diagnosis, and, in pregnant cows, adaptation to seasonal changes associated with temperature decreases seem more efficient.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1247-1253
    JournalTheriogenology
    Volume45
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996

    Keywords

    • Dairy cattle
    • Management factors
    • Pregnancy attrition
    • Pregnancy diagnosis

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