The Association of Calcium Profiles at Calving with Health and Performance of Holstein Cows and Their Calves

  • Constantin Gavan Agriculture Research and Development Station Simnic, Romania
  • Mihaela Riza Agriculture Research and Development Station Simnic, Romania
Keywords: hypocalcemia, retained fetal membranes, metritis, diarrhea


The aim of this study was to assess the association of hypocalcemia at calving with health and performance of Holstein cows and their calves. Data were collected January 1st 2017 to December 31st 2020. A total of 431 lactating Holstein Friesian cows (118 primiparous and 313 multiparous) from a research of hypocalcemia was 2 groups (hypo and non-hypo). The overall prevalence of hypocalcemia was 3.4% for first-lactation cows and 18% for multiparous cows. Lactating dairy cows with hypocalcemia had greater proportion of cows with Retained Fetal Membranes (RFM) metritis and culling within 60 days in milk (DIM), compared with non-hypocalcemia respectively. For the first 2 official milk tests milk yield and components (% fat, % protein on SCC) did not differ between hypo and non-hypo cows. The days in milk at first service, mastitis, dystocia and pregnancy at first service were not different between hypo and non-hypo groups. The proportion of stillbirth, survival at 60 days of age in calves did not differ between calves born from hypo or non-hypo cows. Calves born from Hypo cows had greater incidence of diarrhea (38.3%) than calves born (22.3%) from non-hypo cows. The results of this study show that hypocalcemia in calving has significant health implications for both dams and their calves.



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