Fertility of Holstein Cows in Chengdu, China

  • Zi, X.D. (Department of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, South-west University for Nationalities) ;
  • Ma, L. (Department of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, South-west University for Nationalities) ;
  • Zhou, G.Q. (Fenghuang-shan Dairy Farm) ;
  • Chen, C.L. (Fenghuang-shan Dairy Farm) ;
  • Wei, G.M. (Fenghuang-shan Dairy Farm)
  • Received : 2002.05.27
  • Accepted : 2002.10.05
  • Published : 2003.02.01


Data on the use of breeding records of dairy cattle farm of Fenghuang-shan in Chengdu areas during a period of six years is systematically analyzed. The results show that Holstein heifers have their 1st estrus at an average age of $513.6{\pm}46.7$ d which is not related to the calving season. Estrus mostly occurs in the months with mild ambient temperature (March, April, May, November and December). There is a very poor rate of estrus detection; only 30.0% successive estrus is observed within 24 d, 29.3% within 25-48 d, 40.6% over 48 d. The average number of insemination per conception is 1.50 for heifers and 1.74 for cows, but conception rate (CR) is lower in the relatively warm months (July, August and September) ranged from 48.1% to 51.9% compared with 58.1% to 68.5% in other months. High temperature is the most important factor affecting fertilization in warm months, but neither did CR decline immediately with the increased air temperature in June, nor did it increase immediately with the declined air temperature in September. Post partum anestrous period is $119.5{\pm}60.5$ d. The average interval from calving to conception is $159.4{\pm}85.6$ d with only 19.8% of the cows conceived within 85 d of calving. Cows with high milk yield have longer acyclic periods and lower conception rates. Improvement of efficient managements must be a precedent condition in Chengdu areas.


Holstein;Estrus Detection;Conception Rate;Calving Interval


  1. Ali, J. B., N. M. A. Jawad and H. C. Pant. 1983. Summer heat stress on fertility of Friesian cows. World Rev. Anim. Prod. 3:75-80.
  2. Badinga, L., R. J. Collier, W. W. Thatcher and C. J. Wilcox. 1985. Effects of climatic and management factors on conception rate of dairy cattle in a subtropical environment. J. Dairy Sci. 68:78-85.
  3. Dale, H. D., A. D. Ragsdale and C. S. Cheng. 1959. Effect of constant environmental temperatures of 50 and 80 F on appearance of puberty in beef calves. J. Anim. Sci. 18:1263 (Abstr.).
  4. Dominguez, M. M. 1995. Effect of body condition, reproductive status and breed on follicular population and oocyte quality in cows. Theriogenology 43:1405-1418.
  5. Wiersma, F. and G. H. Stott. 1969. New concepts in the physiology of heat stress in cattle of interest to engineers. Jr. Anim. Soc. Agric. Engineers. 12:130-132.
  6. Foote, R. H. 1979. Time of AI and fertility in dairy cattle. J. Dairy Sci. 62:355-358.
  7. Gwazdauskas, F. C., C. J. Wilcox and W. W. Thatcher. 1975. Environmental and management factors affecting conception rate in a subtropical climate. J. Dairy Sci. 58:88-92.
  8. Snijders, S. E. M., P. Dillon, D. O'Callaghan and M. P. Boland. 2000. Effect of genetic merit, milk yield, body condition and lactation number on in vitro oocyte development in dairy cows. Theriogenology 53:981-989.
  9. MAFF. 1984. Dairy Herd Fertility. Reference Book 259. London, H.M.S.O.
  10. Nebel, R. L. and M. L. McGilliard. 1993. Interactions of high milk yield and reproductive performance in dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 76:3257-3268.
  11. Ferrell, C. L. 1982. Effects of postweaning rate of gain on onset of puberty and reproductive performance of heifer of different breeds. J. Anim. Sci. 55:1272-1283.
  12. Ye, R. S. 1995. A correlation analysis on main index of cow's milk production and reproduction capacity. China Dairy Cattle, 3:27.
  13. Hurnick, J. F., G. J. King and H. A. Robertson. 1975. Estrus and related behavior in post-partum Holstein cows. Applied Anim. Ecology, 2:55-68.
  14. Li, Y. L. and H. Qiu. 1987. Cattle Production. Agriculture Publication House, Beijing.
  15. Lu, D. L., J. M. Wang and Y. M. Li. 1995. An analysis on changing factors of cow calving interval in Urumgi. China Dairy Cattle 3:23.
  16. SSB. 1998. China Statistical Yearbook. State Statistical Bureau, People's Republic of China. China Statistical Publishing House, Beijing.
  17. Dobson, H., S. E. Midmer and R. J. Fitzparick. 1975. Relationship between progesterone concentration in milk and plasma during the bovine estrus cycle. Vet. Rec. 96:222-223.
  18. Galina, C. S. and G. H. Arthur. 1990. Review of cattle reproduction in the tropics. Part 5. fertilization and pregnancy. J. Anim. Sci. 58:805 -813.
  19. Randel, R. D. 1990. Nutrition and postpartum rebreeding in cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 68:853-859.
  20. Hwang, S. Y., M. J. Lee and P. W. S. Chiou. 2000. Monitoring nutritional status of dairy cows in Taiwan using milk protein and milk urea nitrogen. Asian-Aus. J. Anim. Sci. 12:1667-1673.
  21. Sasser, R. G., R. J. Williams, R. C. Bull, C. A. Ruder and D. G. Falk. 1988. Postpartum reproductive performance in crude protein-restricted beef cows: return to estrus and conception. J. Anim. Sci. 66:3033-3041.

Cited by

  1. Effects of limit-feeding diets with different forage-to-concentrate ratios on nutrient intake, rumination, ruminal fermentation, digestibility, blood parameters and growth in Holstein heifers vol.89, pp.3, 2017,