Screening for high fertility in high-producing dairy cows

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

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78 Citations (Scopus)


A retrospective study involving 2756 pregnancies from two commercial dairy herds in northeastern Spain determined relationships between management, production and reproductive data, and high fertility (conception before 90 days in milk) in high-producing dairy cows. High fertility was registered in 989 (35.9%) cows. The following data were recorded for each animal: herd, repeated animal (cows included two or more times within the study in which data were obtained from different lactational periods), parity (primiparous versus multiparous), previous twinning, reproductive disorders following calving (retained placenta, primary metritis) and at postpartum gynecological examination (incomplete uterine involution, pyometra and ovarian cysts), days in milk at conception, previous estrous synchronization and season of calving and conception. In order to evaluate the possible effect of high production during the peak milk yield on subsequent fertility, daily milk production at Day 50 postpartum was also recorded and cows were classified as high (≥50 kg) and low (<50 kg) producers. Logistic regression analysis indicated no significant effects of herd, repeated animal, previous twinning, reproductive disorders such as primary metritis, incomplete uterine involution, pyometra and ovarian cysts, previous estrous synchronization and season of calving and insemination. Based on the odds ratio, the likelihood of high fertility increased in high-producer cows by a factor of 6.8. High fertility was less likely for multiparous cows (by a factor of 0.35) and for cows suffering placenta retention (by a factor of 0.65). High fertile cows produced a mean of 49.5 kg milk at Day 50 postpartum, in contrast to that 43.2 kg milk of the remainder cows. These findings question the negative effect of high production on fertility. Our results indicated that high individual cow milk production can be positively related to high fertility. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1678-1689
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2006


  • Dairy cattle
  • High fertility
  • Milk production


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