Initial results from Colorado State University indicate that producers underestimate the incidence and financial impact of dystocia.

In the CSU study, the researchers worked with three commercial dairies to record calving information on 7,300 births. Then, they monitored calf and cow performance to determine the true cost of dystocia. Here's what they found:

  • A dystocia birth greatly increases the odds of the calf being stillborn, or dying before 120 days of age.
  • After a severe dystocia birth, cows were more likely to be treated for uterine disease and respiratory disease.
  • Cows with severe dystocia were more likely to be culled during the lactation.
  • Cows with severe dystocia had significantly increased odds of dying within 14 days of calving.
  • Cumulative milk production at 30 days was significantly decreased in cows requiring assistance.