Medycyna Wet. 64 (10), 1205-1208, 2008
Kuczaj M., Zielak A., Blicharski P.
Reasons for the culling of Polish Holstein-Friesian cows in a high yield herd
The aim of the study was to determine the causes of cow culling that influence the length of cow utilization in a high yield herd. The research material consisted of cows of Polish Holstein-Friesian breed (258 heads) culled in the period between 01/09/2006 and 31/08/2007. The animals were kept in two stanchion and two loose barns. On the analyzed dairy cattle farm the culling of cows due to a low milk yield (selection feature) comprised 10.1% of all cases, while forced culling (undesirable to the breeder) reached as much as 89.9%. The survivability until subsequent calvings was higher (by about 3.0%) in the case of cows kept in stanchion barns, compared to those in loose ones. The most intense cullings were observed after the second (27.5%) and third (29.5%) calving. Cows with reproduction disorders were utilized for the shortest time, while the ones with limb affections and udder build defects for the longest time. Selecting bulls for reproduction on the basis of their country of origin does not guarantee obtaining only the best daughters in terms of the length of their utilization period. In order to prolong the period of cow utilization, the attention should be paid to actions aimed at the improvement of female fertility and limb health status, as reproduction difficulties (34.1%) and limb disorders (20.2%) are the most frequent reasons for eliminating cows from the herd.
Keywords: cows, culling, reasons, survivability, age, housing system