The association between age at first calving and survival of first lactation heifers within dairy herds

Sherwin, V.E. and Hudson, C.D. and Henderson, A. and Green, Martin J. (2016) The association between age at first calving and survival of first lactation heifers within dairy herds. Animal, 10 (11). pp. 1877-1882. ISSN 1751-732X

[img]
Preview
PDF - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (304kB) | Preview

Abstract

The objective of this research was to evaluate the survival rate of primiparous heifers within a large sample of herds across the UK and specifically to assess the association between age at first calving (AFC) on their survival. Data from 437 herds was re-structured for analysis. Descriptive statistics were calculated, and a multilevel logistic regression model used to explore factors associated with the risk of first lactation culling. Potential explanatory variables included AFC, herd size, culling rate within the whole herd, calving season, herd mean 305d yield and herd mean calving interval. The mean within-herd culling rate for the primiparous heifers was 15.9%. The mean within-herd AFC was 29.6 months, with 35.9% of heifers having an AFC greater than 30 months of age. Multivariable analysis revealed a negative association between survival rate of primiparous heifers and increasing AFC, and also associations with herd culling rate in older cows and calving season. This study highlights the importance of AFC for survival of primiparous heifers, as well the need to address heifer wastage in herds with high culling rates.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Age at First Calving, Heifers, Longevity, Culling
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1751731116000689
Depositing User: Hudson, Christopher
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2016 09:27
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2016 04:24
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/38021

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View