Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 451538
Title The average culling rate of Dutch dairy herds over the years 2007-2010 and its association with herd reproduction performance, and health
Author(s) Mohd Nor, N.; Steeneveld, W.; Hogeveen, H.
Source Journal of Dairy Research 81 (2014)01. - ISSN 0022-0299 - p. 1 - 8.
Department(s) Business Economics
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2014
Keyword(s) finnish ayrshire cows - pregnancy status - early lactation - risk-factors - diseases - reasons - disposal - farms - patterns - survival
Abstract Optimising the number of replacement heifers needed will have positive economic and environmental consequences on herds that rear their own young stock. The number of heifers needed to be kept is closely related with the number of culled dairy cows in the herd. This study therefore looked at the variation that exists in culling rate and herd level factors associated with it. A dataset from 1903 dairy herds available included information at animal level (dates of culling, slaughter/death) and herd level (characteristics of reproduction, performance, health) over the years 2007 to 2010. The average culling rate for slaughter/death was used and was defined for each year as percentage of the herd size that died within 30 d after theywere culled. The analysis of the association between average culling rate for slaughter/death and the characteristics of the herd was performed using a mixed model. The results showed that the average culling rate for slaughter/death was 25·4% and varied between 23% (2007) and 28% (2010). More than 70% of the herds have an average culling rate for slaughter/death of less than 30%, showing that there is room for lowering the average culling rate for slaughter/death. A higher average culling rate for slaughter/death is associated with a longer average calving interval, a higher average 305-d protein production, a higher average somatic cell count (SCC), a higher percentage of new high SCC, a more than 5% decrease in herd size, and herds that bought more than 1% of animals per year. A lower average culling rate for slaughter/death is associated with a longer average age, herds that bought less than 1% of animals per year and a more than 5% increase in herd size. In conclusion, the average culling
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