The Relationship Between Blood and Fertility Parameters in Post Partum Dairy Cows

Relationen mellan blod och fertilitetsparametrar hos mjölkkor efter partus


The onset of post partum ovarian activity, the number of artificial inseminations (AI) and the time of conception were monitored in 412 Icelandic dairy cows during a period of 3 years. Blood was sampled from the animals at various times after calving and the serum concentration of glucoce, urea, calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) measured. A significant positive correlation was found between the levels of glucose, urea and Ca and the number of days from calving.

A significant negative correlation was found between the level of urea and the time of first post partum ovulation. A significant positive correlation was found between the level of glucose and the time of conception. No correlation was found between the blood parameters and the number of AI per animal, the length of first post partum ovarian cycle or the ammount of progesterone found during that cycle.

A distinct, although not statistically significant, tendency towards a negative correlation between the level of glucose and the time of first post partum ovulation was found.

Our results show that the levels of glucose and urea shortly after parturition do indicate the time of onset of post partum ovarian cyclicity.

Our findings indicate that low blood glucose and urea values early post partum lead to subclinical or clinical ketosis which can considerably delay the onset of ovarian activity.


Tidpunkten for ny äggstocksaktivitet efter partus, antalet konstgjorda inseminationer (ai) och tidpunkten för konception registrerades hos 412 isländska mjölkkor under en 3 års tid. Blod insamlades från djur vid olika tider efter kalvning och serumkoncentrationen av glukos, urea, kalcium (Ca) och magnesium (Mg) analyserades.

Signifikanta positiva korrelationer erhölls mellan nivåer av glukos och Ca och antal dagar från kalvning. Signifikanta negativa korrelationer erhölls mellan nivå av urea och tiden för första ovulation efter partus. Signifikanta positiva korrelationer hittades mellan nivån av glukos och tidpunkten för konception. Ingen korrelation syntes mellan blodparametrar och antalet ai per djur, längden av första brunstcykeln efter partus eller mängden av progesteron som uppmättas under cyclus.

Resultaten visade en klar, även om inte statistiskt signifikant, benägenhet tili en negativ korrelation mellan nivåer av glukos och tidpunkten för första Ovulation efter partus.

Våra resultat visar att nivåer av glukos och urea kort tid efter förlossningen antyder tidpunkten för början av ny äggstocksaktivitet efter partus. Våra fynd visar att låga blodglukos och ureavärden kort tid efter partus leder till subklinisk eller klinisk ketos vilket kan avsevärt försena början av äggstocksaktiviteten.

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We thank Prof. H. Kindahl, at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and Dr. G. Georgsson, Institute for Experimental Pathology, Keldur, for reviewing the manuscript. This study was supported by the Icelandic Science Fund and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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Eldon, J., Ólafsson, T. & Thorsteinsson, T. The Relationship Between Blood and Fertility Parameters in Post Partum Dairy Cows. Acta Vet Scand 29, 393–399 (1988).

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  • glucose
  • calcium
  • magnesium
  • urea
  • ketosis.