Lugo, Spain
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Fouz R.,Africor LUGO | Vilar M.J.,University of Helsinki | Yus E.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Sanjuan M.-L.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Dieguez F.J.,University of Santiago de Compostela
Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research | Year: 2016

The objective of this study was to investigate the variability in cow’s milk somatic cell counts (SCC) depending on the type of milk meter used by dairy farms for official milk recording. The study was performed in 2011 and 2012 in the major cattle area of Spain. In total, 137, 846 lactations of Holstein-Friesian cows were analysed at 1, 912 farms. A generalised least squares regression model was used for data analysis. The model showed that the milk meter had a substantial effect on the SCC for individual milk samples obtained for official milk recording. The results suggested an overestimation of the SCC in milk samples from farms that had electronic devices in comparison with farms that used portable devices and underestimation when volumetric meters are used. A weak positive correlation was observed between the SCC and the percentage of fat in individual milk samples. The results underline the importance of considering this variable when using SCC data from milk recording in the dairy herd improvement program or in quality milk programs. © 2016 INIA.


Mato I.,ADSG Xundeva | Pesqueira N.,ADSG Xundeva | Factor C.,ADSG Xundeva | Sanjuan M.L.,University of Santiago de Compostela | And 5 more authors.
Livestock Science | Year: 2015

The present paper was designed to assess the effect of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) infection status (antibody positive vs antibody negative, as measured by ELISA) on time to culling and calving difficulty in dairy cows. The study was carried out in 8 dairy farms in Galicia (north-west Spain). All of them were taking part in an ongoing paratuberculosis control program, as well as in a dairy herd improvement program. In order to estimate the relation between time to culling and MAP serological status of dairy cows, the present study followed the Andersen-Gill model for survival analysis. Similarly, in order to evaluate the influence on calving difficulty an ordinal logistic regression model was applied. The results indicated that seropositive cows were more likely to be culled due to death/urgent slaughter (hazard ratio=1.88), low productivity (hazard ratio=2.55), infertility (hazard ratio=4.64) and other causes (hazard ratio=1.67). Additionally, the probability of difficulties at calving time was 2.74 times higher for seropositive cows. The estimated effects could determine the economic benefits of a paratuberculosis control program. 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Fouz R.,Africor Lugo | Yus E.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Sanjuan M.L.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Dieguez F.J.,University of Santiago de Compostela
ITEA Informacion Tecnica Economica Agraria | Year: 2014

The aim of the present paper was to analyze the causes for culling Holstein dairy animals using data from the Dairy Herd Improvement Program in Galicia. The information in this study was analyzed from records from the dairy herds involved in this program with data concerning only Holstein cattle. To determine the main causes for culling in the herds being studied, records from 22,177 animals (from 2,036 dairy farms) that were culled during the year 2009 were analyzed. Results indicated that in nulliparous animals, "death" was the most frequent reason for culling (63.8% of cases). Culling because of infertility represented 4.3% of losses in this age group, whereas mastitis accounted for 2.4% of losses. In animals between their first and third parities, infertility was the most common culling reason (24.7, 26.3 and 23.1% of cases, respectively). From the fourth parity on, from the assessed reasons for culling which covers 71.2% of the cases, mastitis was the most important (19.1%) followed by infertility (16.9%). The causes of culling varied according to parity, stage of lactation and morphological score of the animals with reproductive problems being the main general cause, followed by mastitis.


Fouz R.,Africor Lugo | Gandoy F.,Africor Lugo | Sanjuan M.L.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Yus E.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Dieguez F.J.,University of Southern California
Pesquisa Agropecuaria Brasileira | Year: 2011

The objective of this work was to identify factors associated with the 56-day non-return rate (56-NRR) in dairy herds in the Galician region, Spain, and to estimate it for individual Holstein bulls. The experiment was carried out in herds originated from North-West Spain, from September 2008 to August 2009. Data of the 76,440 first inseminations performed during this period were gathered. Candidate factors were tested for their association with the 56-NRR by using a logistic model (binomial). Afterwards, 37 sires with a minimum of 150 first performed inseminations were individually evaluated. Logistic models were also estimated for each bull, and predicted individual 56-NRR rate values were calculated as a solution for the model parameters. Logistic regression found four major factors associated with 56-NRR in lactating cows: age at insemination, days from calving to insemination, milk production level at the time of insemination, and herd size. First-service conception rate, when a particular sire was used, was higher for heifers (0.71) than for lactating cows (0.52). Non-return rates were highly variable among bulls. A significant part of the herd-level variation of 56-NRR of Holstein cattle seems attributable to the service sire. High correlation level between observed and predicted 56-NRR was found.


Fouz R.,AFRICOR Lugo | Gandoy F.,AFRICOR Lugo | Sanjuan M.L.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Yus E.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Dieguez F.J.,University of Santiago de Compostela
Animal | Year: 2013

This study was designed to analyse the evolution in the use of beef bull semen for dairy cattle insemination and, mainly, to assess calving difficulty, gestation length and proportion of stillbirths after breeding pure Holsteins or crossbreeding. Data were collected during 2004 to 2011 for 552 571 Holstein calvings (457 070 Holstein × Holstein, 43 384 Holstein × Limousine, 32 174 Holstein × Belgian Blue and 19 943 Holstein × Galician Blonde). The highest calving difficulty, compared with pure Holsteins was for crosses with Belgian Blue followed by Limousine and Galician Blonde. The Holstein × Limousine and Holstein × Galician Blonde crossbred calves had significantly longer gestation lengths than Holstein × Holstein and Holstein × Belgian Blue calves. Between the latter two, pure Holstein had the shortest gestation length. Calving difficulty and gestation length decreased as the age of the dam advanced. The most difficult calvings were observed in twin calvings, followed by the calvings of male calves and female calves. The gestations leading to the birth of male calves were longer than those leading to female calves and twin calves. Stillbirths were not related to the breed used for mating. Through examining these parameters, sire breed should be considered when selecting a beef breed for the insemination of milk-producing dams. © The Animal Consortium 2012.


Fouz R.,Africor Lugo | Yus E.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Sanjuan M.L.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Dieguez F.J.,University of Santiago de Compostela
Livestock Science | Year: 2010

A survey was carried out to evaluate the importance of postpartum intra-mammary infections (IMI), on the basis of somatic cell count (SCC), by characterising the behaviour of Linear Score (LS) in cows at calving, during lactation and at drying-off. Throughout 2007, a follow-up was made of 25,216 Friesian cow lactations from 1984 farms within Galician Official Milk Recording (Northwest Spain) selected by simple random sampling. SCC values were calculated from milk taken at each of the monthly tests performed on every sampled animal. Data indicated that the number of observations where LS was higher than 4 (LS > 4) as well as the mean LS during lactation and the LS at drying-off significantly increased when LS at the beginning of lactation was greater than 4. Likewise, this study showed that the probability of an animal drying-off with LS > 4 was significantly higher when the LS increased at the start of lactation. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


PubMed | AFRICOR Lugo
Type: Evaluation Studies | Journal: Animal : an international journal of animal bioscience | Year: 2013

This study was designed to analyse the evolution in the use of beef bull semen for dairy cattle insemination and, mainly, to assess calving difficulty, gestation length and proportion of stillbirths after breeding pure Holsteins or crossbreeding. Data were collected during 2004 to 2011 for 552 571 Holstein calvings (457 070 Holstein Holstein, 43 384 Holstein Limousine, 32 174 Holstein Belgian Blue and 19 943 Holstein Galician Blonde). The highest calving difficulty, compared with pure Holsteins was for crosses with Belgian Blue followed by Limousine and Galician Blonde. The Holstein Limousine and Holstein Galician Blonde crossbred calves had significantly longer gestation lengths than Holstein Holstein and Holstein Belgian Blue calves. Between the latter two, pure Holstein had the shortest gestation length. Calving difficulty and gestation length decreased as the age of the dam advanced. The most difficult calvings were observed in twin calvings, followed by the calvings of male calves and female calves. The gestations leading to the birth of male calves were longer than those leading to female calves and twin calves. Stillbirths were not related to the breed used for mating. Through examining these parameters, sire breed should be considered when selecting a beef breed for the insemination of milk-producing dams.


PubMed | AFRICOR Lugo and University of Santiago de Compostela
Type: | Journal: Journal of animal physiology and animal nutrition | Year: 2016

The study was designed to determine the relation between -hydroxybutyrate (BHB) concentrations in milk from dairy cows after calving and the length of the previous lactation, the dry period and the 305-day normalized production, and to assess the influence of BHB concentrations on culling and test-day milk productions and somatic cell counts (SCC) throughout the lactation that followed the BHB measurement. The data used in the study were obtained from 59187 cows in the Galicia region (Spain). BHB determination was performed using Fourier-transformed infrared spectrometry from the milk samples collected from each cow on the first post-partumtest day. For statistical analysis, the following methods were applied: (i) ordinal regression to assess the effect of the length of the previous lactation, the dry period and the 305-day normalized milk production on milk BHB, (ii) a Cox model to estimate the influence of the BHB concentration on risk of culling (overall and for a variety of reasons) and (iii) linear regression to assess the link between BHB and the milk yield and SCC obtained from each of the tests day performed throughout lactation. The probability of having higher BHB concentrations increased when the length of the previous lactation (p=0.006), the dry period (p=0.003) and the 305-day normalized milk yield (p=0.005) increased. However, the slight increase observed (especially for the case of the dry period and the 305-day milk yield) would not justify that measures be implemented to reduce these traits. Higher concentrations of BHB led to an increased risk of culling due to death (p0.001) and urgent slaughter (p0.002) (both causes of involuntary culling). It also led to a reduction in milk production (p<0.001) and an increase in SCC (p<0.001) in the post-partum; from that moment onward (including peak lactation), there were no differences in those two parameters depending on the BHB levels.

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