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Reprod Domest Anim. 2008 Jul;43 Suppl 2:113-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0531.2008.01150.x.

Improved detection of reproductive status in dairy cows using milk progesterone measurements.

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1
Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Aarhus, Research Centre Foulum, Tjele, Denmark. n.friggens@agrsci.dk

Abstract

This study tested a model for predicting reproductive status from in-line milk progesterone ;measurements. The model is that of Friggens and Chagunda [Theriogenology 64 (2005) 155]. Milk progesterone measurements (n = 55 036) representing 578 lactations from 380 cows were used to test the model. Two types of known oestrus were identified: (1) confirmed oestrus (at which insemination resulted in a confirmed pregnancy, n = 121) and (2) ratified oestrus (where the shape of the progesterone profile matched that of the average progesterone profile of a confirmed oestrus, n = 679). The model detected 99.2% of the confirmed oestruses. This included a number of cases (n = 16) where the smoothed progesterone did not decrease below 4 ng/ml. These cows had significantly greater concentrations of progesterone, both minimum and average, suggesting that between cow variation exists in the absolute level of the progesterone profile. Using ratified oestruses, model sensitivity was 93.3% and specificity was 93.7% for detection of oestrus. Examination of false positives showed that they were largely associated with low concentrations of progesterone, fluctuating around the 4 ng/ml threshold. The distribution of time from insemination until the model detected pregnancy failure had a median of 22 days post-insemination. In this test, the model was run using limited inputs, the potential benefits of including additional non-progesterone information were not evaluated. Despite this, the model performed at least as well as other oestrus detection systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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