Factors affecting stillbirth and effects of stillbirth on subsequent lactation performance in a Holstein dairy herd in Isfahan

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


Department of Animal Sciences, College of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran


The purposes of this study were to estimate the effects of risk factors on stillbirth parturition and evaluate
the effects of stillbirth on lactation performance in Holstein dairy cows. Data were obtained from a dairy
cattle herd located in Isfahan province, Iran. The logit of the probability of stillbirth was modeled using
logistic regression and the effect of stillbirth on lactation performance was analyzed through mixed linear
model using 12283 lactation records on 5201 cows. The results showed that 6% of the calves born die within
48 h of birth. The results of logistic regression analysis demonstrated that the frequency of stillbirth is
significantly influenced (P<0.05) by calving year, parity number and calving difficulty. The stillbirth
frequency was found to be significantly higher for first parity cows, (P<0.05). Also, calving difficulty was
shown to be significantly associated with increased risk of stillbirth (P<0.05). Mixed linear model analysis
results demonstrated that stillbirth significantly reduced milk and fat yield (P<0.05), but had no significant
impact on milk fat percentage (P≥0.05). The 305-d milk and fat yields for cows with stillbirth were estimated
to be 8274.17 ± 100.79 and 245.60 ± 3.7 kg compared to 8865.60 ± 88.16 and 259.36 ± 3.2 kg for cows that had a live calf, respectively.