Phenotypic analysis of abortion incidence in Iranian Holstein cows

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Student, Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, Isfahan University of Technology, Iran

2 Assistant Professors, Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, Isfahan University of Technology, Iran

3 Professor, Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, Isfahan University of Technology, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, Isfahan University of Technology, Iran


This study was performed to investigate the incidence of abortion based on different definitions and, the effect of climate and herd size on abortion as well as its phenotypic trend. Using calving records collected from 16 dairy herds from years 2004 through 2014. Incidence rate and analysis of affecting factors on abortion were done using the FREQ and GENMOD procedures of SAS software, respectively. According to the definition of abortion as death and expulsion of fetus between 60-260 d, 100-260 d or 150-260 d of pregnancy, overall abortion incidence was 15.5%, 11.25% and 6.6%, respectively. Herd size, climate, parity, year and season of calving as well as the interaction of calving year × season and climate × calving year were associated with abortion (P < 0.001). Greatest abortion incidence was observed for second parity cows (28.7%). The highest and lowest rates of abortion (16.0 vs. 14.5%) happened in the mild and cold climate, respectively. Also, the larger herds, with more than 3000 cows, had almost 1% higher abortion incidence than smaller herds, with less than 1000 cows. The average rate of abortion incidence was highest in the spring and lowest in the autumn (17.8 vs. 13.5 %). According to the regression of least squares means on calving year, abortion incidence showed a positive and significant trend (P < 0.003) by 0.4 per year. The results of this study can be used in the analysis of management practices to control abortion.


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