Importance of monitoring the peripartal period to increase reproductive performance in dairy cattle

O. Szenci, Z. Szelényi, Lea Lénárt, D. Buják, L. Kovács, Luca Fruzsina Kézér, B. Han, A. Horváth

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Citation (Scopus)


Due to the successful genetic selection for higher milk production in Holstein dairy cows, a dramatic decline in fertility rates has been observed around in the world in recent decades. Therefore, herd management should focus the first 100 days postpartum to achieve optimum herd reproductive performance (calving interval less than 400 days). After calving, a cow has to overcome a series of physiological hurdles before becoming pregnant. The selection of timely diagnostic devices and methods, such as the calving alarm vaginal thermometer to predict the onset of calving, electronic hand-held BHBA measuring system to detect subclinical ketosis on the farm, long-term measurement of reticuloruminal pH by an indwelling and wireless data transmitting unit to monitor subclinical acidosis, monitoring rumination time to select cows for early treatment of subclinical metabolic diseases (subclinical ketosis, acidosis and/or hypocalcaemia) and/or clinical metritis, performing metabolic profile tests to detect subclinical metabolic diseases at the herd level, oestrus detectors and/or detection aids, on-farm P4 test to monitor specific events in the postpartum and service periods, early diagnosis of pregnancy and late embryonic/early foetal mortality by means of ultrasonography are vital to correctly identify problems and their potential causes to enable these issues to be rectified. The following monitoring and managing activities should be pursued during the early postpartum period to achieve or approach the optimal calving interval: monitoring the onset of calving and post parturient metabolic diseases, early diagnosis of post parturient uterine diseases, accurate detection of oestrus, correct timing of insemination, and accurate diagnosis of early pregnancy and embryonic loss. Despite higher milk production, acceptable fertility results can be achieved, even on large-scale dairy farms, if the impacts of the above factors that contribute to reduced fertility can be moderated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-307
Number of pages11
JournalVeterinarska Stanica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Calving
  • Dairy cow
  • Detection of oestrus
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Pregnancy diagnosis
  • Timing of insemination
  • Uterine abnormalities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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  • Cite this

    Szenci, O., Szelényi, Z., Lénárt, L., Buják, D., Kovács, L., Kézér, L. F., Han, B., & Horváth, A. (2018). Importance of monitoring the peripartal period to increase reproductive performance in dairy cattle. Veterinarska Stanica, 49(4), 297-307.