Associations between dairy cow inter-service interval and probability of conception

Remnant, J.G., Green, M.J., Huxley, J.N. and Hudson, C.D. (2018) Associations between dairy cow inter-service interval and probability of conception. Theriogenology . ISSN 1879-3231

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Recent research has indicated that the interval between inseminations in modern dairy cattle is often longer than the commonly accepted cycle length of 18–24 days. This study analysed 257,396 inseminations in 75,745 cows from 312 herds in England and Wales. The interval between subsequent inseminations in the same cow in the same lactation (inter-service interval, ISI) were calculated and inseminations categorised as successful or unsuccessful depending on whether there was a corresponding calving event. Conception risk was calculated for each individual ISI between 16 and 28 days. A random effects logistic regression model was fitted to the data with pregnancy as the outcome variable and ISI (in days) included in the model as a categorical variable. The modal ISI was 22 days and the peak conception risk was 44% for ISIs of 21 days rising from 27% at 16 days. The logistic regression model revealed significant associations of conception risk with ISI as well as 305 day milk yield, insemination number, parity and days in milk. Predicted conception risk was lower for ISIs of 16, 17 and 18 days and higher for ISIs of 20, 21 and 22 days compared to 25 day ISIs. A mixture model was specified to identify clusters in insemination frequency and conception risk for ISIs between 3 and 50 days. A “high conception risk, high insemination frequency” cluster was identified between 19 and 26 days which indicated that this time period was the true latent distribution for ISI with optimal reproductive outcome. These findings suggest that the period of increased numbers of inseminations around 22 days identified in existing work coincides with the period of increased probability of conception and therefore likely represents true return estrus events.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Estrous cycle; Inter-service interval; Conception; Pregnancy; Dairy cow; Mixture model
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
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Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2018 09:44
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2019 04:30

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