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Home » Archive » 2022

TDK conference 2022

Controlling of calving process in particular the occurrence of stillbirths in a large-scale Holstein-Friesian dairy farm
Szücs Gabriella - year 6
University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Department and Clinic of Food Animal Medicine
Supervisor: Dr. Ottó Szenci

Abstract:

Whereas the housing conditions of the pre-partum period are greatly influenced the delivery process, we conducted our investigations in a domestic Holstein-Friesian dairy farm, where approx. 1,200 dairy cows are kept in deep straw barns. Pregnant heifers and cows used to be transferred to the calving group pen approx. 28 days before calving, also with deep straw, from where, according to the new housing technology, they were placed in pens of 4-5 animals three days before the expected calving, so that the start of the process can notice in time and provide obstetric assistance if necessary. During the investigation, we followed the process of about 876 calvings in the period between September 2021 and May 2022. The investigated parameters were the following: the average body weight of the calves, the occurrence of dystocia, the number of stillbirths and retained placenta (RP). We considered dystocia in those cases when obstetric assistance was provided by no more than one (S2), two (S3), or three persons, or a mechanical traction was applied (S4). Category S1 includes those cases in which the calving was unassisted, this occurred in 70.1%. Stillbirth occurred in 1.3% of the calves and 7% of the cows were diagnosed with RP. The average weight of the calves in this group was 40.3 kg. In 25.6% of calvings one person assisted (category S2), the proportion of stillborn calves in these cases was 3%. RP was observed in 4.8% of the cows belonging to this group, and the average body weight of the calves was 41.4 kg. In category S3, 2% of calvings were reported and 0.3% of the calves were stillborn. At the same time, 0.4% of the cows were treated with RP after calving, and the average weight of the calves was 40.5 kg. The number of cases classified as category S4 was only 0.2% of the calvings, and only 0.1% of the calves were stillborn. There were no cows diagnosed with RP in this category, and the average calf weight was 52 kg. Based on the international and previous studies carried out on the same farm, we can conclude that the ratio of stillbirths and retained placenta has developed favorably, so we can clearly draw the conclusion that the newly developed housing technology has significantly contributed to the reduction of previous losses.



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