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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Cole, John
item Sanders, Ashley
item Clay, J

Submitted to: Journal of Dairy Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/17/2006
Publication Date: 7/9/2006
Citation: Cole, J.B., Sanders, A.H., Clay, J.S. 2006. Use of producer-recorded health data in determining incidence risks and relationships between health events and culling [abstract]. Journal of Dairy Science. 89(Suppl. 1):10(abstr. M7).

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Studies of disease incidence among dairy cows have typically relied on data collected in a research setting, or by veterinarians. Little use has been made of producer-recorded data. The spread of computerized on-farm recordkeeping has increased the opportunity to collect and analyze these data. Dairy Records Management Systems (Raleigh, NC) provided producer-recorded health data for 1834 herds from 1997 through 2003. Of 3.7 million event records, 34% were categorized as health disorders (36 categories) and 59% as health maintenance or management events. Disorder records were matched with records from the national dairy database (DB) for lactations which began before July 2002. Data from lactations 1 to 7 were used, and herd-years were required to have at least 20 cows and 80% of records passing edits for the DB. The resulting 43,489 lactations from 440 herds (1244 herd-years) were combined with 135,659 lactation records of herdmates. Milk fever during the first 7 DIM (MF), retained placenta during the first 7 DIM (RP), metritis (MET), displaced abomasums (DA), and ketosis (KET) were reported in 8, 5, 54, 41, and 23 percent of herd-years, respectively. Cystic ovaries (CO), mastitis (MAST), and foot/locomotion problems (LOCO) were reported in 65, 59, and 43 percent of herd-years. Lactational incidence risk (LIR) or incidence density (ID) was calculated for herds reporting each disorder. Overall, LIR was 2.9% for MF, 3.7% for RP, 9.8% for MET, 4.2% for DA, and 6.6% for KET; ID was 12.0% for CO, 13.4% for MAST, and 20.9% for LOCO. In general, LIR and ID increased with increasing parity. Risk of culling for mastitis was 2.76 times greater in lactations with at least one reported MAST event. Culling for reproduction was 2.05 times greater in lactations with at least one RP, MET, or CO event. These results suggest that producer-recorded health data can be used to investigate disease incidence and relationships, and warrant further research.

Last Modified: 05/27/2017
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