Reasons for culling, culling due to lameness, and economic losses in dairy cows

Olechnowicz, J. and Jaśkowski, J.M. (2011) Reasons for culling, culling due to lameness, and economic losses in dairy cows. Medycyna Weterynaryjna, 67 (9). pp. 618-621.

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The review presents reasons for the culling of dairy cows, focusing on clinical lameness and production losses in cows affected by lameness. The culling of cows is a technique that may lead to herd improvement and increased profits or reduced costs by replacing sick or non-pregnant cows. The reasons for culling are generally voluntary, for example poor production, or involuntary, including mastitis, extreme lameness or poor reproduction, and/or death. Culling rates in dairy herds vary, ranging from 20% to 35% per year. The most common reasons for culling dairy cows in herds are diseases, such as mastitis, reproductive diseases, and clinical lameness. Many other factors, such as parity, lactation stage, reproductive performance, health, calving season, milk yield and cow welfare, also influence the decision to cull a cow. Effects of lameness reduce milk yield, negatively affect fertility, and increase the risk of culling. Milk loss contributes 40% to the cost of lameness, followed by treatment costs (34%) and decreased fertility (26%). Many studies report an increased risk of culling for lame cows with hoof diseases, especially sole ulcers. Some studies, however, indicate that the effect of lameness on culling is unclear because the literature provides little information on the reasons for culling and, in particular, on the relation between reproductive performance and the incidence of mastitis or lameness. Hence, the decision to cull a cow is complicated and often depends on the parity, milk production, fertility, and health of cows.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: cow, culling, lameness, economic loss, productivity.
Author Affiliation: Department of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Breeding and Biology of Animals, Poznan University of Life Sciences, Wojska Polskiego 52, 60-625 Poznan, Poland.
Subjects: Animal Husbandary > Live Stock
Animal Husbandary > Veterinary Sciences
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr Balakrishna Garadasu
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2013 14:47
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2013 14:47
Official URL:

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