A shift in focus with no routine inductions in 2015
With the recent announcement by the Veterinary Council of New Zealand that this will be the last season of routine inductions in dairy cattle many dairy farms will need to fast-track changes in their approach to mating.
Inductions are a tool that enable us to effectively deal with the tail, ie. late calving cows. Without this tool the options for dealing with late calvers next year will be limited.
Options for managing late calvers going forwards;
- Shorten up mating length - risk a higher empty rate if nothing else changes
- Sell late calvers in exchange for early calving cows/heifers
- Or calve late calvers down - days in milk will take a significant hit
The alternative is to avoid having a tail in the first place. This presents a much more sustainable and financially sensible option and comes through shifting focus to the other end of mating, the front; specifically your 6 week In-Calf rate.
Franklin Vets have encouraged farmers to capture the benefits of a high 6 week in-calf rate for some time now and many of our clients have already seen the value that this brings to their business.
Areas to consider:-
Body condition score your herd regularly between calving and mating
Ask an accredited vet to condition score your herd regularly through this period. Infovet recording, analysis & recommendations will keep your herd on-track.
Perform regular nutrition checks
Create a feed-budget and/or Spring rotation planner with your vet that can be revisited at each visit through Spring.
Take advantage of Franklin Vets free Repro-Ready consults
These free consults provide an opportunity for the farm team to sit-down with their vet and collaboratively plan out an approach to mating.
Treat non-cycling cows early
Use pre-mating tail-paint to identify problem cows early and manage them correctly. Waiting for non-cyclers to cycle does not pay.
Ensure optimal cow reproductive health
Trace minerals, metrichecking, minimise impact of other disease ie. lameness/mastitis.
Bull Fertility testing
Avoid the impact of a faulty bull by fertility testing prior to mating.
Performing an early pregnancy test (prior to removing your bulls) provides huge insights as to how mating is progressing. From the results of these early scans we can determine the best total mating length for your farm to run with. This will ensure you make the most of your mating efforts by tightening up mating effectively while avoiding nasty surprises in empty rate!