73 research outputs found

    Associations between body condition score, locomotion score, and sensor-based time budgets of dairy cattle during the dry period and early lactation

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    Lameness, one of the most important disorders in the dairy industry, is related to postpartum diseases and has an effect on dairy cow welfare, leading to changes in cows' daily behavioral variables. This study quantified the effect of lameness on the daily time budget of dairy cows in the transition period. In total, 784 multiparous dairy cows from 8 commercial Dutch dairy farms were visually scored on their locomotion (score of 1–5) and body condition (score of 1–5). Each cow was scored in the early and late dry period as well as in wk 4 and 8 postpartum. Cows with locomotion scores 1 and 2 were grouped together as nonlame, cows with score 3 were considered moderately lame, and cows with scores 4 and 5 were grouped together as severely lame. Cows were equipped with 2 types of sensors that measured behavioral parameters. The leg sensor provided number of steps, number of stand-ups (moving from lying to standing), lying time, number of lying bouts, and lying bout length. The neck sensor provided eating time, number of eating bouts, eating bout length, rumination time, number of rumination bouts, and rumination bout length. Sensor data for each behavioral parameter were averaged between 2 d before and 2 d after locomotion scoring. The percentage of nonlame cows decreased from 63% in the early dry period to 46% at 8 wk in lactation; this decrease was more severe for cows with higher parity. Cows that calved in autumn had the highest odds for lameness. Body condition score loss of >0.75 point in early lactation was associated with lameness in wk 4 postpartum. Moderately lame cows had a reduction of daily eating time of around 20 min, whereas severely lame cows had a reduction of almost 40 min. Similarly, moderately and severely lame dry cows showed a reduction of 200 steps/d, and severely lame cows in lactation showed a reduction of 600 steps/d. Daily lying time increased by 26 min and lying bout length increased by 8 min in severely lame cows compared with nonlame cows. These results indicate a high prevalence of lameness on Dutch dairy farms, with an increase in higher locomotion scores from the dry period into early lactation. Time budgets for multiparous dairy cows differed between the dry period and the lactating period, with a higher locomotion score (increased lameness) having an effect on cows' complete behavioral profile. Body condition score loss in early lactation was associated with poor locomotion postpartum, whereas lameness resulted in less eating time in the dry period and early lactation, creating a harmful cycle.</p

    Relationships among some serum enzymes, negative energy balance parameters, parity and postparturient clinical (endo)metritis in Holstein-Friesian cows

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    Activities of alkaline phosphatase, aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase, and concentrations of serum metabolites [beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA)] of primiparous (n = 83) and multiparous (n = 213) Holstein cows were studied as possible predictors of retained fetal membranes (RFM), grade 2 clinical metritis (CM) and clinical endometritis (CEM). A logistic regression model was used to calculate odds ratios (OR) for the prevalence of CM diagnosed between 0–5, 6–10 and 11–20 days in milk (DIM) and for the prevalence of CEM diagnosed between 22–28 and 42–49 DIM. The activities of the examined serum enzymes did not show significant associations either with CM or with CEM. For NEFA sampled on days 0 and 5, an OR of 2.38 for CM 0–20 DIM and an OR of 2.58 for CM 11–20 DIM was found. For BHB sampled on days 0 and 5, an OR of 8.20 for CEM 22–28 and 42–49 DIM and an OR of 1.98 for CM 6–10 DIM were found. The prevalence of RFM was higher in ≥ 4 parity cows compared to primiparous cows (46.3% vs. 26.5%). BHB and NEFA levels measured between 0 and 5 DIM could have a predictive ability for postpartum uterine disorders such as RFM, CM and CEM

    Sensor based eating time variables of dairy cows in the transition periodrelated to the time to first service

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    In dairy cattle, reproductive diseases and infertility are some of the most important reasons for culling, where postpartum negative energy balance (NEB) reduces reproductive performance. This single cohort observational study reports the association between eating time and the interval between calving and first service in 2036 dairy cows on 17 commercial farms in The Netherlands. Cows were equipped with a commercially available neck sensor (Nedap, Groenlo, The Netherlands), that measured the time cows spent eating, from 28 days (d) before until 28 d after parturition. Primiparous cows spent a mean of +45 minutes (min) eating time per day ante partum and +15 min eating time post partum more than multiparous cows. A Cox proportional hazard model was used to analyze eating time variables in relation to the interval between calving and first service. From 4 weeks before until 4 weeks after calving eating time variables per week were used. Weeks -4, -3 + 3 and +4 were used as weeks with stable eating time patterns and therefore the mean eating time per week and the standard deviation of the mean eating time per week were used. Weeks -2, -1, +1 and +2 were addressed as periods with unstable eating patterns and therefore the slope in eating time per week and the residual variance of the slope per week were modeled. Significant results were the mean eating time in week -4 and +3 where in both weeks higher eating time lead to a higher hazard for first service. Difference between primiparous and multiparous cows were also significant with a higher hazard for first service for primiparous cows. Week 4 post partum presented a significant difference between eating time of primiparous cows and multiparous cows. These results display how eating time variables in the transition period could be related to the interval between calving and first service, and that there is a relation between mean eating time in week -4, +3, +4 and the interval between calving and first insemination.<br/

    Relationships among some serum enzymes, negative energy balance parameters, parity and postparturient clinical (endo)metritis in Holstein Friesian cows – Short communication

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    Activities of alkaline phosphatase, aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase, and concentrations of serum metabolites [beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA)] of primiparous (n = 83) and multiparous (n = 213) Holstein cows were studied as possible predictors of retained fetal membranes (RFM), grade 2 clinical metritis (CM) and clinical endometritis (CEM). A logistic regression model was used to calculate odds ratios (OR) for the prevalence of CM diagnosed between 0–5, 6–10 and 11–20 days in milk (DIM) and for the prevalence of CEM diagnosed between 22–28 and 42–49 DIM. The activities of the examined serum enzymes did not show significant associations either with CM or with CEM. For NEFA sampled on days 0 and 5, an OR of 2.38 for CM 0–20 DIM and an OR of 2.58 for CM 11–20 DIM was found. For BHB sampled on days 0 and 5, an OR of 8.20 for CEM 22–28 and 42–49 DIM and an OR of 1.98 for CM 6–10 DIM were found. The prevalence of RFM was higher in ≥ 4 parity cows compared to primiparous cows (46.3% vs. 26.5%). BHB and NEFA levels measured between 0 and 5 DIM could have a predictive ability for postpartum uterine disorders such as RFM, CM and CEM

    Sensor based eating time variables of dairy cows in the transition period related to the time to first service

    No full text
    In dairy cattle, reproductive diseases and infertility are some of the most important reasons for culling, where postpartum negative energy balance (NEB) reduces reproductive performance. This single cohort observational study reports the association between eating time and the interval between calving and first service in 2036 dairy cows on 17 commercial farms in The Netherlands. Cows were equipped with a commercially available neck sensor (Nedap, Groenlo, The Netherlands), that measured the time cows spent eating, from 28 days (d) before until 28 d after parturition. Primiparous cows spent a mean of +45 minutes (min) eating time per day ante partum and +15 min eating time post partum more than multiparous cows. A Cox proportional hazard model was used to analyze eating time variables in relation to the interval between calving and first service. From 4 weeks before until 4 weeks after calving eating time variables per week were used. Weeks -4, -3 + 3 and +4 were used as weeks with stable eating time patterns and therefore the mean eating time per week and the standard deviation of the mean eating time per week were used. Weeks -2, -1, +1 and +2 were addressed as periods with unstable eating patterns and therefore the slope in eating time per week and the residual variance of the slope per week were modeled. Significant results were the mean eating time in week -4 and +3 where in both weeks higher eating time lead to a higher hazard for first service. Difference between primiparous and multiparous cows were also significant with a higher hazard for first service for primiparous cows. Week 4 post partum presented a significant difference between eating time of primiparous cows and multiparous cows. These results display how eating time variables in the transition period could be related to the interval between calving and first service, and that there is a relation between mean eating time in week -4, +3, +4 and the interval between calving and first insemination

    Sensor based eating time variables of dairy cows in the transition period related to the time to first service

    No full text
    In dairy cattle, reproductive diseases and infertility are some of the most important reasons for culling, where postpartum negative energy balance (NEB) reduces reproductive performance. This single cohort observational study reports the association between eating time and the interval between calving and first service in 2036 dairy cows on 17 commercial farms in The Netherlands. Cows were equipped with a commercially available neck sensor (Nedap, Groenlo, The Netherlands), that measured the time cows spent eating, from 28 days (d) before until 28 d after parturition. Primiparous cows spent a mean of +45 minutes (min) eating time per day ante partum and +15 min eating time post partum more than multiparous cows. A Cox proportional hazard model was used to analyze eating time variables in relation to the interval between calving and first service. From 4 weeks before until 4 weeks after calving eating time variables per week were used. Weeks -4, -3 + 3 and +4 were used as weeks with stable eating time patterns and therefore the mean eating time per week and the standard deviation of the mean eating time per week were used. Weeks -2, -1, +1 and +2 were addressed as periods with unstable eating patterns and therefore the slope in eating time per week and the residual variance of the slope per week were modeled. Significant results were the mean eating time in week -4 and +3 where in both weeks higher eating time lead to a higher hazard for first service. Difference between primiparous and multiparous cows were also significant with a higher hazard for first service for primiparous cows. Week 4 post partum presented a significant difference between eating time of primiparous cows and multiparous cows. These results display how eating time variables in the transition period could be related to the interval between calving and first service, and that there is a relation between mean eating time in week -4, +3, +4 and the interval between calving and first insemination

    A new, practical animal welfare assessment for Dutch dairy farmers.

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    The results of three Dutch animal welfare assessment protocols were compared with a modified Welfare Quality® assessment protocol (WQ) on 60 dairy farms in the Netherlands, representing farms with good, moderate and poor welfare, as determined by their local veterinarians. It was one of our objectives to determine if welfare indicators that were easier and faster to measure would correlate with more time consuming animal-based measurements of the modified WQ. Several of the indicators of the modified WQ correlated well with those of three other welfare assessment protocols, that are used in the Netherlands. For example, the number of collisions with the dividers correlated with the width of the freestall (r2 = 0.63; p < 0.03) and time needed to lie down had a correlation with the diagonal of the freestall (distance of the neck rail to the curb) (r2 = 0.24; p < 0.06). Next, an alternative welfare assessment protocol was designed with components of the three Dutch protocols. The outcomes of this new protocol showed good agreement with the modified WQ, only 10% of the farms had a discordan
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