How does body condition affect fertility?

Influence of the heifer’s body condition on fertility

Influence of BCS on the Cal-AI interval


In your opinion, what is the optimal body condition at 1st service in a dairy cow?
What is the optimal body condition score at calvingGiving birth to a calf. in a suckler cowNursing cow used for feeding suckling calves.?


Causes and consequences of poor body condition at calving

Fat cow Thin cow
Good Body Condition
Poor body condition

- Slow, listless birth, retained placenta

- Milk fever, mammary oedema

- Faster and more severe loss of weight

- KetosisState characterized by the presence of ketone bodies (including acetone) in the blood.

- Fatty liver

- Delay in onset of heatAlso “oestrus”. Physiological and behavioural phenomena that precedes and accompanies ovulation in female mammals.

- MetritisInflammation of various tissues of the uterus, mainly of the uterine lining (endometritis), but also of the uterine muscle (myometritis or cervicitis).

- High milk fat content in first tests

- Retained placenta

- Under-production

- True anoestrusState characterised by the absence of cyclicity and therefore the absence of heat. It is frequently observed after parturition for a longer or shorter period depending on the breed and physiological status.

- Low fat content in first tests


- Dry cows not separated from others

- Excess feed during the dry period or at the end of lactation

- Prolonged lactation following a fertilityAbility of a living organism to reproduce. From a zootechnical point of view: ability to give birth to a calf, a lamb, a goat or a piglet. problem

- Restrictions on feeding at the end of lactation or dry period

- Primiparous cows with parasites

- Reserves not restored at the end of lactation


For more information on body condition scoring please view the  Body Condition Scoring Video  by AHDB:

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