Document Type : Original Article


Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran


To describe proportion and pattern of culling in commercial dairy herds of Khorasan Razavi Province, this survey was carried out from 21st March 2008 to 20th March 2009 in 15 industrialized dairy herds. For each culled cow data related to parity at culling, last calving to culling interval and primary reason for culling were recorded. Annual herd exit rate was 20.9%. Out of a total of 652 culled cows, the proportions of culled dairy cows were due mainly to involuntary culling with very small proportion of voluntary culling (4%). The involuntary culling were mainly from infertility or reproductive disorders (23.6%), udder disorders (17.5%) and digestive tract disorders (15.9%). Average ± SD of parity at culling was 3.15 ± 1.96. Culled cows from digestive tract disorders, injuries and infectious diseases were significantly younger than those of other culling reasons (P < 0.05). Mean ± SD of last calving to culling interval was 194 ± 159 days. Culled cows from digestive tract disorders, injuries and udder disorders were removed earlier in lactation period than cows culled from reproductive disorders, infectious diseases and lameness (P < 0.05). Low proportion of voluntary and high percentage of involuntary culling specially from health problems should be considered as an important economic loss and precaution measures are necessary to reduce this loss.