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Economic cost of difficult calvings in the United Kingdom dairy herd
  1. B. J. McGuirk, PhD1,
  2. R. Forsyth, BSc1 and
  3. H. Dobson, BSc, PhD, DSc, HonAssocRCVS2
  1. 1 Genus Breeding, London Road, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 7JW
  2. 2 University of Liverpool, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chester High Road, Neston CH64 7TE
  1. Dr McGuirk's present address is Rose Cottage, Canobolas Road, Orange NSW 2800, Australia
  2. Miss Forsyth's present address is Birling South East Cottage, Warkworth NE65 0XS


Information on the losses associated with lower milk production and reproductive performance, as well as information from a survey of uk dairy herds using beef semen was used to estimate the economic importance of calving difficulties in uk dairy herds. The survey covered information on cow and calf mortality, cow culling and the need for veterinary assistance, the incidences of which were related to the degree of calving difficulty experienced. The total cost of a slightly difficult calving was estimated to be approximately £110, and of a seriously difficult calving between £350 and £400, depending on assumptions of the veterinary costs. However, the major costs were associated with the labour required at the delivery, the increase in the number of days open, and the costs associated with the deaths of cows and calves, and cow culling.

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