Effect of systematic parturition induction of long gestation Holstein dairy cows on calf survival, cow health, production, and reproduction on a commercial farm.

TitleEffect of systematic parturition induction of long gestation Holstein dairy cows on calf survival, cow health, production, and reproduction on a commercial farm.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsVillarroel A, Lane MV
JournalCanadian journal of veterinary research = Revue canadienne de recherche vétérinaire
Volume74
Issue2
Pagination136-44
Date Published2010 Apr
ISSN0830-9000
KeywordsAgriculture, Animal Welfare, Animals, Animals, Newborn, Cattle, Cattle Diseases, Dairying, Dexamethasone, Female, Glucocorticoids, Labor, Induced, Lactation, Milk, Obstetric Labor Complications, Parturition, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Rate, Reproduction, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors, Spain
Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of parturition induction on dairy cattle with long gestation (past due-date) single pregnancies on calf survivability, cow health, production, and reproduction. There was an induction period during which all cows and heifers reaching 282 days of gestation were induced with dexamethasone (n = 614). Control cows calved the year after, had a gestation length > 282 d and were not induced (n = 508). As the induced and non-induced groups were not contemporaneous, data were standardized using the ratio between the herd baselines for each period. Multivariate analyses of the data showed that induced cows were 1.41 times more likely (P = 0.020) to become pregnant in the lactation following the studied calving than non-induced cows with long gestation. There was no difference in the risk of difficult calvings, stillbirths, culling due to reproductive reasons, average milk production, average days open or risk of abortion in the following lactation between induced and non-induced cows. There seemed to be a relationship between parturition induction and a lower risk of post-partum death, although this was not statistically significant (P = 0.162), because including induction as a factor in the model markedly improved the fit of the data. There was no information on incidence of retained placenta (RP) for the non-induced group. In conclusion, parturition induction resulted in more cows becoming pregnant and a seemingly lower risk of post-spartum death without affecting calving difficulty, calf viability, or milk production.

Alternate JournalCan. J. Vet. Res.