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J Dairy Sci. 2012 Sep;95(9):5442-5460. doi: 10.3168/jds.2011-4972.

A daily herd Markov-chain model to study the reproductive and economic impact of reproductive programs combining timed artificial insemination and estrus detection.

Author information

1
Department of Dairy Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison 53706.
2
Department of Dairy Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison 53706. Electronic address: vcabrera@wisc.edu.

Abstract

Our objective was to compare the economic and reproductive performance of programs combining timed artificial insemination (TAI) and different levels of AI after estrus detection (ED) using a daily Markov-chain model. A dairy herd was modeled with every cow following daily probabilistic events of aging, replacement, mortality, pregnancy, pregnancy loss, and calving. The probability of pregnancy depended on the combination of probability of insemination and conception rate (CR). All nonpregnant cows had a probability of pregnancy between the end of the voluntary waiting period and days in milk cutoff for AI. After the cutoff, cows were labeled as do not breed and replaced when milk production was below a minimum milk threshold. A similar model was created to represent a replacement heifer herd to simulate and adjust the supply and demand of replacements. The net value (NV) of a program was the sum of milk income over feed cost, replacement and mortality cost, income from newborns, and reproductive costs. The model was used to compare the NV of 19 programs. One program used 100% TAI (42% CR for first TAI and 30% for second-and-later services), whereas the other programs combined TAI with ED. The proportion of cows receiving AI after ED for the combined programs ranged from 30 to 80%, with levels of CR of 25, 30, and 35%. As the proportion of cows receiving AI after ED increased, the CR of cows receiving TAI decreased. The combined programs with CR of 35% for cows receiving AI after ED had the greatest NV and reproductive performance at all levels of ED. The program using 100% TAI had greater NV and better reproductive performance than all programs with 25% CR after ED inseminations, whereas it had very similar performance to combined programs with up to 60% of cows receiving AI after ED and 30% CR. The factor with the greatest relative contribution to the differences among programs was income over feed cost, followed by replacement and reproductive costs. Adjusting the days in milk cutoff for AI to match the supply and demand of heifer replacements improved the NV of all programs except for those with 25% CR after ED, which had either no change or a decrease in NV. In summary, the economic value of reproductive management programs combining TAI and ED depended on the proportion of cows receiving AI after ED and the resulting CR. Adjusting the heifer supply and demand increased the NV of programs with heifer surplus and decreased the NV of programs with heifer deficit.

PMID:
22916951
DOI:
10.3168/jds.2011-4972
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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