The relationships between the somatic cell counts in the milk and the fertility of Polish Holstein-Friesian cows K., Sawa A., Bogucki M., Piwczynski D., Krezel-Czopek S. (2019): The relationships between the somatic cell counts in the milk and the fertility of Polish Holstein-Friesian cows. Veterinarni Medicina, 64: 433-439.
download PDF

The aim of the study was to analyse the relationship between the somatic cell counts in the milk (the udder health status indicator) and the cow’s fertility, taking the influence of the selected factors into account. The udder health status was determined based on the somatic cell count of the milk from 88 745 test-day records from 55 685 Polish Holstein-Friesian cows. The test-day measurements were made up to 30 days before the first insemination, during the period up to 180 days of the first and second lactation. Because the somatic cell count showed high variation and is not normally distributed, the data were transformed to the natural logarithm scale. Based on the results of the statistical analysis, it was shown that with the increase in the number of somatic cells in the milk, the calving intervals were extended by 11 days (P ≤ 0.01), the service period by around 4 days (P ≤ 0.05), the increase in the services per conception by 0.11 (P ≤ 0.01). There was a statistically significant correlation, weak on the Guilford scale, between the natural logarithm of the somatic cell count and the fertility of the cows: the calving interval – CI (r = 0.050**, P ≤ 0.01), service period – SP (r = 0.016**) end services per conception – SPC (r = 0.019**). Monitoring the number of somatic cells in the milk could contribute to improving the fertility of the cows in particular: in the second lactation in the double lactation (for the CI (r = 0.059**)); in herds with a production level of 7000–9000 kg of milk (for the CI (r = 0.055**), the SP (r = 0.022**) and the SPC (r = 0.024**)); the daily productivity of > 40 kg (for the CI (r = 0.052**), the SP (r = 0.033**) and the SPC (r = 0.029**)), the number of cows in the herd of > 200 (for the CI (r = 0.061**), the SP (r = 0.034**) and the SPC (r = 0.033**)), in the autumn season of the first insemination (for the CI (r = 0.072**), the SP (r = 0.027**) and the SPC (r = 0.031**)). The magnitude of these correlations varied within the classes of the factors such as the daily production level, the age of cows´ lactation number, the season of the first insemination, the herd production level, and the herd size. It appears that the somatic cell count results obtained from the periodic milk recording, considered as an indirect measure of the udder health and used when deciding on the mastitis treatment, could be a useful tool for controlling the fertility in the cows.

Ahamadzadeh A, Frago F, Shafii B, Dalton JC, Price WJ, McGuire MA (2009): Effect of clinical mastitis and other diseases on reproductive performances of Holstein cows. Animal Reproduction Science 112, 273–282.
Berry DP, Wall E, Pryce JE (2014): Genetics and genomics of reproductive performance in dairy and beef cattle. Animal 8, 105–121.
Dobson H, Smith RF, Royal MD, Knight CH, Sheldon IM (2007): The high producing dairy cow and its reproductive performance. Reproduction in Domestic Animals Suppl. 42, 17–23.
Gunay A, Gunay U (2008): Effects of clinical mastitis on reproductive performance in Holstein cows. Acta Veterinaria Brno 77, 555–560.
Heringstad B, Larsgard AG (2010): Correlated selection responses for female fertility after selection for high protein or low mastitis frequency in Norwegian Red cows. Journal of Dairy Science 93, 5970–5976.
Hertl JA, Grohn YT, Leach JDG, Bar D, Bennet GJ, Gonzalez RN, Rauch BJ, Welcome FL, Tauer LW, Schukken YH (2010): Effects of clinical mastitis caused by gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and other organism on the probability of conception in New York State Holstein dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science 93, 1551–1560.
Hudson CD, Bradley AJ, Breen JE, Green MJ (2012): Associations between udder health and reproductive performance in United Kingdom dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science 95, 3683–3697.
Hudson CD, Bradley AJ, Breen JE, Green M (2015): Dairy herd mastitis and reproduction: Using simulation to aid interpretation of results from discrete time survival analysis. The Veterinary Journal 201, 47–53.
Isobe N, Iwamoto CH, Kubota H, Yoshimura Y (2014): Relationship between the somatic cell count in milk and reproductive function in prepartum dairy cows. Journal of Reproduction and Development 60, 433–437.
Juozaitiene V, Juozaitis A (2005). The influence of somatic cell count in milk on reproductive traits and production of Black-and-White cows. Veterinarski Archiv 75, 407–414.
Kadarmideen HN (2004): Genetic correlations among body condition score, somatic cell score, milk production, fertility and conformation traits in dairy cow. Animal Science Journal 79, 191–201.
Kadarmideen HN, Thompson R, Simm G (2000): Linear and threshold model genetic parameters for disease, fertility and milk production in dairy cattle. Animal Science Journal 71, 411–419.
Lomander H, Svensson C, Hallen-Sandgren C, Gustafsson H, Frossling J (2013): Associations between decreased fertility and management factors, claw health, and somatic cell count in Swedish dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science 96, 6315–6323.
Miller RH, Clay JS, Norman HD (2001): Relationship of somatic cell score with fertility measures. Journal of Dairy Science 84, 2543–2548.
Montaldo HH, Castillo-Juarez H, Valencia-Posades M, Cienfuegos-Rivas EG, Ruiz-Lopez FJ (2010): Genetic and environmental parameters for milk production, udder health, and fertility traits in Mexican Holstein cows. Journal of Dairy Science 93, 2168–2175.
Morek-Kopec M, Zarnecki A, Jagusiak W (2009): Association between somatic cell score of milk and fertility traits in Polish Holstein-Friesian cows. Animal Science Papers and Reports 27, 15–22.
Morris MJ, Kaneko K, Uppal SK, Walker SL, Jones DN, Routly JE, Smith RF, Dobson H (2013): Effects of high somatic cell counts in milk on reproductive hormones and oestrus behaviour in dairy cows with special reference to those with concurrent lameness. Animal Reproduction Science 141, 20–25.
Nguyen TC, Nakao T, Gautam G, Su LT, Ranasinghe RMSBK, Yusuf M (2011): Relationship between milk somatic cell count and postpartum ovarian cyclicity and fertility in dairy cows. Acta Veterinaria Hungarica 59, 349–362.
Olechnowicz J, Jaskowski JM (2013): A connection between mastitis during early lactation and reproductive performance of dairy cows – a review. Annals of Animal Science 13, 435–448.
Pinedo PJ, Melendez P, Villagomez-Cortes JA, Risco CA (2009): Effect of high somatic cell counts on reproductive performance of Chilean dairy cattle. Journal of Dairy Science 92, 1575–1580.
Pritchard T, Coffey M, Mrode R, Wall E (2013): Genetic parameters for production, health, fertility and longevity traits in dairy cows. Animal 7, 34–46.
Rahman M, Mazzilli M, Pennarossa G, Brevini TAL, Zecconi A, Gandolfi F (2012): Chronic mastitis is associated with altered ovarian follicle development in dairy cattle. Journal of Dairy Science 95, 1885–1893.
Rekik B, Ajili N, Belhani H, Ben Gara A, Ronissi H (2008): Effect of somatic cell count on milk and protein yields and female fertility in Tunisian Holstein dairy cows. Livestock Science 116, 309–317.
SAS (2014): SAS/STAT 9.4 User’s Guide. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC.
Skrzypek R, Antkowiak I, Pytlewski J (2007): Effect of somatic cell counts in milk on cow fertility. Medycyna Weterynaryjna 63, 1247–1250.
Wolfenson D, Leitner G, Lavon Y (2015): The disruptive effects of mastitis on reproduction and fertility in dairy cows. Italian Journal of Animal Science 14, 650–654.
Vacek M, Stadnik L, Stipkova M (2007): Relationships between the incidence of health disorders and the reproduction traits of Holstein cows in the Czech Republic. Czech Journal of Animal Science 52, 227–235.
download PDF

© 2022 Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Prohlášení o přístupnosti