Analysis of non-genetic factors affecting calving difficulty in the Czech Holstein population
M. Fiedlerová, D. Řehák, M. Vacek, J. Volek, J. Fiedler, P. Šimeček, O. Mašata, F. Jílekhttps://doi.org/10.17221/355-CJASCitation:Fiedlerová M., Řehák D., Vacek M., Volek J., Fiedler J., Šimeček P., Mašata O., Jílek F. (2008): Analysis of non-genetic factors affecting calving difficulty in the Czech Holstein population. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 53: 284-291.
The objective of this study was to analyze the effects of non-genetic factors affecting calving difficulty in the Holstein population of the Czech Republic for subsequent compilation of the model for genetic evaluation as well as for herd management practice. Calving difficulty recorded in 1997–2006 was assessed in three categories: 1 = normal, 2 = hard pull, 3 = complicated. The original observations were transformed to an underlying normal scale. A data set containing 409 255 records was analysed by a linear model with fixed effects of season, parity of dam, sex of calf and Holstein gene proportion. All these effects were significant, and their appropriate categorization was considered. Analyses of additional factors such as gestation length, age at first calving and preceding calving interval were performed. The results revealed that gestation length was in a non-linear relationship with calving difficulty. A higher risk of difficult calving was associated with short or long gestation and with a prolonged preceding calving interval in multiparous cows. Calving difficulty should be adjusted for these factors. A decreased risk of difficult calving could be achieved by an altering of calving interval and age at first calving as a management tool.Keywords:calving process; gestation length; age at first calving; preceding calving interval; dairy cattle