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Table 4 Descriptive statistics and unconditional associations of categorical variables selected as candidates for multivariable model for within-herd cow mortality rate in years 2017–2018 in 212 Estonian dairy herds estimated in linear regression analysis

From: Herd-level risk factors for cow and calf on-farm mortality in Estonian dairy herds

VariableCategoriesnWithin-herd MRap-valueb
Herd typecDairy herd1994.880.281
Mixed herd133.20
Proportion of Holstein breed cows < 90%893.750.001
 > 90%1195.59
Missing43.60
RegiondNortheast586.80 < 0.001
Southeast443.79
Southwest723.88
Northwest384.55
Farmer attending trainings within the last 4 yearsOnce494.100.018
2–3 times1085.61
More than 3 times314.36
No242.97
Farmer using consultancy service within the last 4 yearsNo143.680.046
Once434.23
2–3 times1095.58
More than 3 times463.75
Handling animalsFarmer and/or family members512.95 < 0.001
Employees in addition to farmer/family263.12
Employees only1355.79
Veterinarian involved in detecting sick cowsNo1684.360.026
Yes446.37
Milking methodPipeline milking/jug813.710.033
Milking parlour915.41
Automatic milking system355.48
Combined55.65
Housing systemTie stall763.750.022
Free stall1305.30
Combined66.72
GrazingNo835.79 < 0.001
Yes963.29
Only dry cows336.57
Bed surface materialConcrete834.010.058
Rubber724.68
Mattress356.58
Deep litter174.90
Combined55.96
Analysing roughages in the laboratoryNo353.020.002
Yes, not every year294.13
Yes, every year1485.32
Dry period feed ratio based on silage analysisNo993.57 < 0.001
Sometimes (in less than 50% of times)134.75
Mostly (in more than 50% of times)225.63
Always766.16
Missing2NEe
Frequency of hoof trimmingNo394.050.016
Less than once a year313.62
Once a year604.24
 ≥ 2 times per year825.96
Digital dermatitis diagnosed in a herdNo or unaware1484.190.019
Yes626.18
Missing2NEe
Place of calvingGroup pen695.940.005
Individual pen414.46
Tiestall844.32
Combined or otherf163.25
Missing2NEe
Use intramammary products at dry-offNo233.840.045
Sometimes (less than 50% of cows)364.10
Often (50–75% of cows)166.70
Mostly (75–95% of cows)233.99
Always (more than 95% of cows)1145.07
Way of responding to questionnairePostal1274.620.332
Phone855.02
  1. aWithin-herd mortality rate of cows in years 2017 to 2018 (per 100 cow-years)
  2. bEstimated in bivariable linear regression models including herd number of cows
  3. cDairy herd—at least 75% of cattle were of dairy breed; mixed herd – more than 25% of cattle were of beef breed
  4. dNortheast Estonia: Ida-Viru, Lääne-Viru, Jõgeva, Järva county; Southeast Estonia: Tartu, Valga, Võru, Põlva county; Southwest Estonia: Pärnu, Viljandi, Saare county; Northwest Estonia: Harju, Rapla, Lääne, Hiiu county
  5. eNot estimated due to small number of farms belonging to that category
  6. fOther: calving on pasture and its combinations between other systems