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Reasons for culling among Holstein dairy cattle in herds in the Dairy Herd Improvement Program

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Authors: R. Fouz, E. Yus, M.L. Sanjuán y F.J. Diéguez
Issue: 110-2 (171-186)
Topic: Animal Production
Keywords: Dairy cattle, culling reasons, milk recording.

The aim of the present paper was to analyze the causes for culling Holstein dairy animals using data from the Dairy Herd Improvement Program in Galicia. The information in this study was analyzed from records from the dairy herds involved in this program with data concerning only Holstein cattle. To determine the main causes for culling in the herds being studied, records from 22,177 animals (from 2,036 dairy farms) that were culled during the year 2009 were analyzed. Results indicated that in nulliparous animals, “death” was the most frequent reason for culling (63.8% of cases). Culling because of infertility represented 4.3% of losses in this age group, whereas mastitis accounted for 2.4% of losses. In animals between their first and third parities, infertility was the most common culling reason (24.7, 26.3 and 23.1% of cases, respectively). From the fourth parity on, from the assessed reasons for culling which covers 71.2% of the cases, mastitis was the most important (19.1%) followed by infertility (16.9%). The causes of culling varied according to parity, stage of lactation and morphological score of the animals with reproductive problems being the main general cause, followed by mastitis.

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