Cow-level factors associated with subclinical hypocalcemia at calving in multiparous Jersey cows

A. Valldecabres, J. A.A. Pires, Noelia Silva Del Rio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The objective of our study was to identify cow-level factors associated with subclinical hypocalcemia at calving (SCH) in multiparous Jersey cows. A total of 598 Jersey and 218 Jersey × Holstein crossbreed cows from 2 commercial dairy herds were enrolled in a retrospective cohort study. Blood samples to determine total Ca concentration were collected from the coccygeal vessels at 3 h 19 min (±2 h 33 min) after calving. We used 2 serum Ca concentration thresholds to define SCH: <2.00 mmol/L (SCH-2.00) and <2.12 mmol/L (SCH-2.12). We evaluated the association of cow-level factors with SCH with multivariable Poisson regression models. Variables evaluated for association with SCH were herd; parity (2, 3, and ≥4); breed; previous lactation length and 305-d mature-equivalent milk yield; previous lactation first test milk yield and last test somatic cell count; lengths of calving interval, gestation, dry, and close-up periods; body condition and locomotion scores at calving; calving ease; and calf sex for singletons. We categorized continuous variables into quartiles (≤25th percentile, interquartile range and ≥75th percentile). The prevalence of SCH among Jersey cows was 40 (SCH-2.00) and 64% (SCH-2.12). Jersey cows of higher parity had greater risk of SCH-2.00 and SCH-2.12. The risk of SCH-2.12 was higher after birthing male calves. We also found a tendency for previous lactation length and previous lactation 305-d mature-equivalent milk yield effect to affect risk of SCH-2.12. The risk of SCH-2.12 was lower for cows that had a previous lactation length shorter than the 25th percentile compared with cows that had a previous lactation length within the interquartile range. The risk of SCH-2.12 was higher for cows that had a previous lactation 305-d mature-equivalent milk yield below the 25th percentile compared with cows that had a previous lactation 305-d mature-equivalent milk yield above the 75th percentile. Also, Jersey × Holstein crossbreed was associated with increased risk of SCH-2.00. In the multivariable analysis, we observed no association between SCH and previous lactation first test milk yield; last test somatic cell count; lengths of calving interval, gestation, dry, and close-up periods; body condition and locomotion scores at calving; and calving ease. Our study identified parity, breed, calf sex, previous lactation length, and previous lactation 305-d mature-equivalent milk yield as cow-level factors associated with SCH in multiparous Jersey cows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • dairy cow
  • Jersey
  • subclinical hypocalcemia
  • transition period

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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