Survival of Holstein Friesian heifers through to fourth calving on a research farm.

Gavan Constantin, Mihaela Riza

Abstract


This study monitored survival up to fourth calving and reasons to culling of a number of 202 Holstein Friesian heifers on research farm at Agricultural Research and Development Station (ARDS) Simnic, Craiova. Heifers born between 2016 and 2019 were monitored from 1 months of age trough to forth calving. The survival of animals was calculated during 4 lifetime phases: (1) rearing period; (2) lactation 1; (3) lactation 2; (4) lactation 3. Also 4 longevity traits were calculated for all animals culled before forth calving: (1) age to culling; (2) herd life; (3) total lifetime days in milk (DIM); and 4 longevity index.

During the rearing period 6.9% of the total heifers at 1 month did not survive until first calving (0% longevity index). Of those that did calve (n = 188), 12.7% were culled in lactation 1, with a longevity index of 28.4%. In the second lactation 15.2% of the cows that did calve for the second time (n = 164) were culled, with a longevity index of 44%, and in the third lactation 19.4% of the cows that did calve for the third time (n = 139) were culled with a longevity index of 53.5%. Of all animals recruited at 1 month of age 55.4% (n = 112/202) calved for a fourth time. The primary cause for culling was infertility. These results show that some of heifers never become productive or are culled before they reach their full lactation potential.


Keywords


culling, longevity traits, survival.

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LUCRARI STIINTIFICE ZOOTEHNIE SI BIOTEHNOLOGII (SCIENTIFIC PAPERS ANIMAL SCIENCE AND BIOTECHNOLOGIES)

ISSN print 1841 - 9364
ISSN online 2344 - 4576
ISSN-L  1841 - 9364
(former ISSN 1221-5287, E-ISSN 1841-9364)

PUBLISHER: AGROPRINT Timisoara, Romania
PAPER ACCESS: Full text articles available for free
FREQUENCY: Semiannual
PUBLICATION LANGUAGE: English
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Banat´s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine "King Michael I of Romania" from Timisoara
Bioengineering Faculty of Animal Resources
300645, Timişoara, Calea Aradului 119, Romania

E-mail: spasb [at] animalsci-tm.ro
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