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This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 95 No. 4, p. 1680-1695
     
    Received: Nov 04, 2016
    Accepted: Jan 10, 2017
    Published: April 13, 2017


    1 Corresponding author(s): rlarson@vet.k-state.edu
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doi:10.2527/jas.2016.0972

A deterministic, dynamic systems model of cow-calf production: The effects of the duration of postpartum anestrus on production parameters over a 10-year horizon

  1. D. D. Shane*,
  2. R. L. Larson 1†‡,
  3. M. W. Sanderson*,
  4. M. Miesner and
  5. B. J. White†‡
  1. * Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, K-221 Mosier Hall, Manhattan 66506
     Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, A-111 Mosier Hall, Manhattan 66506
     Beef Cattle Institute, Kansas State University, 1320 Research Park Drive, Manhattan 66506

Abstract

The duration of postpartum anestrus (dPPA) is important to consider for reproductive performance and efficiency in cow-calf operations. We developed a deterministic, dynamic systems model of cow-calf production over a 10-yr horizon to model the effects that dPPA had on measures of herd productivity, including the percentage of cows cycling before the end of the first 21 d of the breeding season (%C21), the percentage of cows pregnant at pregnancy diagnosis (%PPD), the distribution of pregnancy by 21-d breeding intervals, the kilograms of calf weaned (KW), the kilograms of calf weaned per cow exposed (KPC), and the replacement percentage. A 1,000-animal herd was modeled, with the beginning and ending dates for a 63-d natural service breeding season being the same for eligible replacement heifers (nulliparous cows) and cows (primiparous and multiparous cows). Herds were simulated to have a multiparous cow dPPA of 50, 60, 70, or 80 d, with the dPPA for primiparous cows being set to 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, or 110 d. Only combinations where the primiparous dPPA was greater than or equal to the multiparous dPPA were included, resulting in 22 model herds being simulated in the analysis. All other model parameters were held constant between simulations. In model season 10, the %C21 was 96.2% when the multiparous cow and primiparous cow dPPA was 50 d and was 48.3% when the multiparous cow and primiparous cow dPPA was 80 d. The %PPD in model season 10 for these same herds was 95.1% and 86.0%, respectively. The percentage of the herd becoming pregnant in the first 21 d of the breeding season also differed between these herds (61.8% and 31.3%, respectively). The 10-yr total KW was more than 275,000 kg greater for the herd with a 50-d multiparous cow and primiparous cow dPPA when compared with the herd with the 80-d multiparous and primiparous cow dPPA and had a model season 10 KPC of 180.8 kg compared with 151.4 kg for the longer dPPA. The model results show that both the multiparous cow and primiparous cow dPPA affect herd productivity outcomes and that a dPPA less than 60 d results in improved production outcomes relative to longer dPPA. Veterinarians and producers should consider determining the dPPA to aid in making management decisions to improve reproductive performance of cow-calf herds.

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