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Abstract

The body condition scoring system (BCS) is a means of accurately determining body condition of dairy cows, independent of body weight and farm size. The body condition scores represent a subjective visual or tactile (or both) evaluation of the amount of subcutaneous fat in a cow. The system is a useful method of evaluating body energy reserves and is used widely for evaluating nutritional status in dairy cows. The different stages of lactation have different recommended scores. BCS change during the lactation period depends on the milk production, reproduction and health status. Extreme body condition loss in the early lactation can cause irregular heats, longer time to first ovulation, and fail to conceive. The aim of this research was to determine the effect of BCS on Holstein cows’ reproduction. The relationship between some BCS parameters: BCS at calving (BCSc), minimum BCS after calving (BCSmin) and the reduction of BCS after calving (BCSr) on one hand and three reproductive parameters: the days from calving to first service (DFS), number of inseminations to conception (NIC), and days open (DO) on the other hand were studied in three private dairy farms in South Hungary. BCS were determined monthly during milk recording. A total of 786 records of Holstein cows from 1 to 3 lactation were evaluated. DFS was significantly (P<5%) influenced by BCSs and BCSmin. The number of inseminations to conception (NIC) varied according to the individual cow. In the present study was between 1 and 12. The most favourable DO values were observed in the group having >3.5 BCSc (150.04 days), the group with 3.0-3.5 BCSmin (138.92) and the group having >1 BCSr. There was no significant relationship found between DO and the BCS groups.