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J Dairy Sci. 2001 Feb;84(2):482-9.

Association between milk urea nitrogen and fertility in Ohio dairy cows.

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Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus 43210, USA.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between milk urea nitrogen (MUN) and fertility of dairy cows using field data. The data came from 24 dairy herds belonging to Ohio Dairy Herd Improvement Cooperative Inc. Reproductive data and MUN measurements from cows that calved between June 1998 and May 1999 and that had been bred at least once were included in the study. Survival analysis, using the Cox proportional hazards model, was performed and days from calving to conception or to the end of the study was used as the outcome. Cows that had not been reported pregnant during the study were considered censored. The mean of monthly MUN values of cows before conception (or the end of the study for censored cows) was used to reflect the MUN status of a cow. Animals were categorized into quartiles based on MUN values in these data. Parity, calving season, peak milk yield, number of services, and herd were included in the models as fixed effects. Cows with MUN levels below 10.0 were 2.4 times more likely and cows with MUN levels between 10.0 and 12.7 mg/dl were 1.4 times more likely to be confirmed pregnant than cows with MUN values above 15.4 mg/dl. Our results indicate that increasing MUN levels appear to be negatively related to dairy cow fertility and are associated with a lower risk of detectable pregnancy at herd checks. They also suggest that the levels of MUN that are adversely associated with fertility might be lower than reported earlier.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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