Culling trends on a Hungarian large scale dairy farm

Violetta Toth, Virág Nagypál, Ágnes Süli, Edit Mikó


Different diseases experienced in dairy farms cause decreased productivity and profitability. This decline can achieve such an extent that the milk production of the ill individual is lower than the production of the heifer by which it is replaced. Thus culling ill animals as soon as possible is recommended from the aspect of cost efficiency. When a decision is made regarding culling, age, phases of lactation cycle, milk production, reproduction phase, health stage all have to be taken into account. Based on these factors optimal timing of culling can be determined. Too early or too late culling results in economic loss. Main reasons of culling are reproduction disorder, mastitis, low milk production and lameness. Based on 5-year data of the farm of this research, main culling reasons were identified. Another aim of this study was to find out in which lactation culling had the highest proportion and why. 1175 cows left the farm as a result of culling during 5-year period. 30 % of cullings was caused by udder diseases and 22 % of cullings occurred due to reproduction disorder. 12 % of culling was caused by the sum of Low milk production, lameness and metabolic diseases. 35 % of culling was caused by other diseases (lung-inflammation, heart defect, heat stress) and managerial decisions. Culling trends in each lactations: 23 % in first, 32 % in second, 25 % in third, 12 % in fourth, 8 % in 4< (5., 6., 7. and 8.) lactations. In the first lactation the main reasons of culling were reproduction disorder (7.74 %), udder diseases (4.94 %) and low production (4.5 %). However in the second lactation the highest culling ratio was caused by udder diseases (8.77 %), lower by reproduction disorder (7.83 %) and the lowest by low production (2.8 %). In the third lactation udder diseases (8.43 %), low production (5 %) and reproduction disorder (4.09%) was the distribution between the different factors causing culling.


culling, dairy cattle, mastitis, lamenes

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ISSN print 1841 - 9364
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ISSN-L  1841 - 9364
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