The effect of subclinical ketosis on activity at estrus and reproductive performance in dairy cattle

Rutherford, Andrew J, Oikonomou, Georgios and Smith, Robert F ORCID: 0000-0003-0944-310X
(2016) The effect of subclinical ketosis on activity at estrus and reproductive performance in dairy cattle. JOURNAL OF DAIRY SCIENCE, 99 (6). pp. 4808-4815.

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Our aims were to investigate the influence of subclinical ketosis (SCK) on physical activity at estrus using a neck accelerometer device and on future reproductive performance. Two hundred three Holstein-Friesian cows were studied on 3dairy farms in Northwest England between September 2013 and March 2014. Seventeen percent (35 of 203) of the enrolled cows were affected with SCK between 7 and 21d in milk, defined as a blood β-hydroxybutyrate concentration of 1.2 to 2.9mmol/L. Time to event analyses and multivariable regression analyses were used to assess the effect of SCK on reproductive performance and activity at estrus. The SCK cows exhibited a lower peak activity (measured as the number of standard deviations above mean activity) and shorter duration in activity clusters associated with first estrus and first insemination postpartum, compared with non-SCK cows. Peak activity and cluster duration associated with the insemination that led to a pregnancy were not different between SCK and non-SCK cows. Calving to first estrus, calving to first insemination, and calving to pregnancy intervals were prolonged in SCK cows. First insemination was 4.3 times (95% confidence interval=1.6 to 15.0) less likely to be successful in SCK cows compared with non-SCK cows. Adjusted mean number of inseminations per pregnancy was 2.8 for SCK cows and 2.0 for non-SCK cows. The current study confirms the long-lasting effects of SCK on reproductive efficiency. Furthermore, it is indicated that physical activity around estrus is reduced by SCK in early lactation, but this negative effect appears to diminish as cows progress through lactation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: subclinical ketosis, beta-hydroxybutyrate, estrus activity
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 24 May 2016 15:57
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 07:36
DOI: 10.3168/jds.2015-10154
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