All Title Author
Keywords Abstract

Publish in OALib Journal
ISSN: 2333-9721
APC: Only $99


Relative Articles


Causes and Effects of Stillbirths on Days Open and Cow Herd Survival in Holstein Friesian Cows

DOI: 10.4236/ojvm.2023.133003, PP. 23-32

Keywords: Stillbirth, Culling, Calving Difficulty, Days Open

Full-Text   Cite this paper   Add to My Lib


The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate the causes and the effects of stillbirth on the number of days open and cow herd survival in subsequent lactation of Holstein Friesian cows. A total of 1371 calvings from research dairy farm were used. Stillbirth in calves was defined as the death of a fetus before or during calving at full term (≥270 days of gestation) or within 24 hours after calving. During the period from January 2006 to December 2017 a percent of 95.04% of the calvings were with live calves, and 4.96% of the calvings were stillbirths. The major causes of stillbirth identified were: calving difficulty, parity of the cows, and sex of the calves at calving. A five point scale was used to assess calving difficulties, and numbers 1, 2 and 3 were considered unassisted calvings and number 4 and 5 as assisted. The twin calvings were not taken into account. Days open were measured as days from first calving to conception, and cow herd survival from first calving to culling or death. Trend test and multivariate data analysis were used. The findings revealed that primiparous cows were at higher risk of having stillbirths compared with multiparous cows. Cows that were at calving male calves were at higher risk of having stillbirths compared with cows that had female calves at calving. Also, cows with assisted calving were at higher risk of having stillbirths compared with cows with unassisted calvings. Cows with stillbirths had a increase mean of days open with 32 days. Cow herd survival was better in the cows with live calves at calving compared with the cows that had stillbirth at calvings.


[1]  Szücs, E., Gulyás, L., Cziszter, L.T. and Demirkan, I. (2009) Stillbirth in Dairy Cattle: Review. Lucrări Științifice Zootehnie și Biotehnologii, 42, 622-636.
[2]  Lombard, J.E., Garry, F.B., Urie, N.J., McGuirk, S.M., Godden, S.M., Sterner, K., Earleywine, T.J., Catherman, D. and Maas, J. (2019) Proposed Dairy Calf Birth Certificate Data and Death Loss Categorization scheme. Journal of Dairy Science, 102, 4704-4712.
[3]  USDA (2016) Dairy 2014. Dairy Cattle Management Practices in the U.S. USDA-APHIS-VS-CEAH-NAHMS, Fort Colins.
[4]  Harbers, A., Segeren, L. and de Jong, G. (2000) Genetic Parameters for Stillbirth in the Netherlands. Proceedings of the 2000 Interbull Meeting, Bled, 14-15 May 2000, 117-122.
[5]  Meyer, C.L., Berger, P.J. and Koehler, K.J. (2000) Interactions among Factors Affecting Stillbirths in Holstein Cattle in the US. Journal of Dairy Science, 83, 2657-2663.
[6]  Berglund, B., Steinbock, L. and Elvander, M. (2003) Causes of Stillbirth and Time of Death in Swedish Holstein Calves Examined Post Mortem. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, 44, Article No. 111.
[7]  Hansen M., Misztal, I., Lund, M.S., Pedersen, J. and Christensen, L.G. (2004) Undesired Phenotypic and Genetic Trend for Stillbirth in Danish Holsteins. Journal of Dairy Science, 87, 1477-1486.
[8]  Berglung, B. (1996) Ongoing Research on the Causes of the Causes of Variation in Calving Performance and Stillbirths in Swedish Dairy Cattle. Interbull Bulletin, 12, 78-83.
[9]  Hansen, M. (2005) Genetic Possibilities to Reduce Calf Mortality. The 26th European Holstein and Red Holstein Conference.
[10]  Bahrami-Yekdangi, M., Ghorbani, G.R., Sadeghi-Sefidmazgi, A., Mahnani, A., Drackley, J.K. and Ghaffari, M.H. (2022) Identification of Cow-Level Risk Factors and Associations of Selected Blood Macro-Minerals at Parturition with Dystocia and Stillbirth in Holstein Dairy Cows. Scientific Reports, 12, Article No. 5929.
[11]  Hossein-Zadeh, N.G. (2010) The Effect of Twinning on Milk Yield, Dystocia, Calf Birth Weight and Open Days in Holstein Dairy Cows of Iran. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, 94, 780-787.
[12]  Bicalho, R.C., Galvão, K.N., Cheong, S.H., Gilbert, R.O., Warnick, L.D. and Guard, C.L. (2007) Effect of Stillbirths on Dam Survival and Reproduction Performance in Holstein Dairy Cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 90, 2797-2803.
[13]  Maltecca, C., Khatib, H., Schutzkus, V.R., Hoffman, P.C. and Weigel, K.A. (2006) Changes in Conception Rate, Calving Performance, and Calf Health and Survival From the Use of Crossbred Jersey×Holstein Sires as Mates for Holstein Dams. Journal of Dairy Science, 89, 2747-2754.
[14]  Meyer, C.L., Berger, P.J., Thompson, J.R. and Sattler, C.G. (2001) Genetic Evaluation of Holstein Sires and Maternal Grandsires in the United States for Perinatal Survival. Journal of Dairy Science, 84, 1246-1254.
[15]  Mahnani, A., Sadeghi-Sefidmazgi, A. and Keshavarzi, H. (2018) Performance and Financial Consequences of Stillbirth in Holstein Dairy Cattle. Animal, 12, 617-623.
[16]  Uematsu, M., Sasaki, Y., Kitahara, G., Sameshima, H. and Osawa, T. (2013) Risk Factors for Stillbirth and Dystocia in Japanese Black Cattle. The Veterinary Journal, 198, 212-216.
[17]  Atashi, H., Abdolmohammadi, A., Dadpasand, M. and Asaadi, A. (2012) Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Consequent Effect of Dystocia in Holstein Dairy Cows in Iran. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences, 25, 447-451.
[18]  Norman, H.D., Hutchison, J.L. and Miller, R.H. (2010) Use of Sexed Semen and Its Effect on Conception Rate, Calf Sex, Dystocia, and Stillbirth of Holsteins in the United States. Journal of Dairy Science, 93, 3880-3890.
[19]  Morek-Kopec, M., Zarnecki, A., Ptak, E. and Otwinowska-Mindur, A. (2021) Effect of Calving Difficulties and Calf Mortality on Functional Longevity in Polish Holstein-Friesian Cows. Animals, 11, Article No. 2792.
[20]  Johanson, J.M. and Berger, P.J. (2003) Birth Weight as a Predictor of Calving Ease and Perinatal Mortality in Holstein Cattle. Journal of Dairy Science, 86, 3745-3755.
[21]  Mangurkar, B.R., Hayes, J.F. and Moxley, J.E. (1984) Effects of Calving Ease-Calf Survival on Production and Reproduction in Holsteins. Journal of Dairy Science, 67, 1496-1509.
[22]  Heins, B. and Pereira, G. (2020) Monitoring Calving Traits to Improve Cow and Calf Health. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
[23]  Esslemont, R.J., Kossaibati, M.A. and Allcock, J. (2001) Economics of Fertility in Dairy Cows. BSAP Occasional Publication, 26, 19-29.


comments powered by Disqus

Contact Us


WhatsApp +8615387084133

WeChat 1538708413