20 September 1996

How stress puts brakes on fertility

STRESS in dairy cows during their breeding season will reduce fertility.

That was the finding of a University of Liverpool vet school study, Controlling Fertility in the Dairy Cow, reported by Prof Hilary Dobson at the Nottingham Cattle Fertility Conference.

She advised managing cows to avoid energy imbalances, lameness, milk fever and social change during the breeding period. These were the key factors that led to infertility.

Lameness increased the days to service by four to 72, and the days to conception by 14 to 88 compared with healthy control animals. An extra 0.4 inseminations a conception were also needed for lame cows. Milk fever increased the days to service by six, days to conception by 13.

&#8226 Full report next week.