Embryonic Loss in Cows

What is Embryonic Loss in Cows? 

Embryonic loss in cows or cows ‘not holding’ is the loss of pregnancy after conception. Loss of pregnancy is frustrating and can occur at various stages of gestation and for a variety of reasons. These losses clearly produce a negative impact on the reproductive and economic performances of dairy herds. 

Symptoms of Embryonic Loss in Cows

  • The embryo does not survive to birth.

Causes of Embryonic Loss in Cows

  • Poor Egg quality
  • Heat Stress
  • Inflammatory disease
  • Bodyweight loss
  • Reduced progesterone concentrations
  • Infectious diseases such as Neospora or IBR
  • Mineral Deficiency

Problems from Embryonic Loss in Cows

  • Cows experiencing foetal death beyond date 34 of pregnancy will take up to eight weeks to return to heat naturally.
  • Calving intervals increase.
  • Costs increased by non-productive animals in the herd.

Embryonic Loss in Cows – Solutions 

  • Maintaining good conception rates are just as challenging and frustrating as preventing mastitis and improving milk production. Good calving hygiene, preventative health programs, good AI techniques and nutrition are key in reducing embryonic losses.
  • Studies have shown that excess protein can have a negative effect on reproductive performance and fertility. Excess protein requires additional energy to break it down, which can exacerbate a state of Negative Energy Balance in the cow.
  • Excess protein also leads to excess urea in the bloodstream. Increased urea levels are detrimental to embryo development.
  • Some of the urea is excreted in milk, which makes milk urea level a good indicator of excess protein in the diet. A sudden increase in milk urea level or a level consistently above 35 has been linked to embryo death. A milk urea level of 20-35 or less is advisable.
  • Use Nitrobond to help reduce milk urea. This is a blend of plant extracts to help reduce the energy used.
  • The results farmers see is reduced embryonic loss and increased milk solids.
  • Another key Nutritional factor to evaluate is the mineral status of the herd.
  • Cows low in Iodine and copper have been shown to have increased incidents of embryonic loss.
  • Feeding a suitable mineral blend is crucial to supporting conception and pregnancy for the cow.
  • Use Fertility minerals and Nitrobond to give your cows the best chance.

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