Non Cycling Cows

Dairy Cows Web.jpgCheck your AB records and make sure that you do know how your herd's submission rate is going.  Aim for a 90% submission rate by the end of three weeks into mating.  This equates to 13 cows per day or 90 cows per week for a 300 cow herd.

Herd reproductive treatments - treat early
InCalf_1.jpgDairy NZ's In-Calf shows us that maximising submission rates and conception rates is vital to improving the 6 week-in-calf rate.  Increasing the 6 week in-calf rate up to target 78% will also increase the economic farm surplus.  This information must be focused on when deciding whether or not to use herd reproductive treatments.

Body condition score at calving and feeding levels post-calving determine condition score loss prior to mating.  In combination with non-cycler treatments, they play a vital role in determining the submission rate.  Non-cycler treatments are most profitable if used early in the mating period.  Treating non cyclers 8-9 days prior to the planned start of mating maximally improves submission rate.  It is most profitable to treat cows calved more than 30 days at condition score 3.5 or better to achieve the best conception rates.

Trials show a treated mob of anoestrus cows will calve 14 days earlier than a non-treated anoestrus mob.  The resulting extra days in milk give a return on investment of $126 on average (14 days x 1.5kgMS x $6 payout).

To capture this improvement in profitability, it is important to detect and treat non-cycling cows early as a core reproductive treatment.

This is best done by:
  • Tail painting all calved cows 30 days prior to planned start of mating
  • Observing heats and touching up tail paint every 2-3 days so all cycling cows are detected
  • Arranging an initial vet visit 8 days prior to planned start of mating.  This will be the first out of 3 visits which ends with cows either being detected in-heat from 8 days after the first visit or put up at a fixed time 10 days after the first visit
eCG improves first service conception rates
Treatment options including the use of eCG, equine chorionic gonadotrophin, have been shown to increase first service conception rates in treated non-cycling cows.  eCG is particularly useful in reducing the likelihood of a very poor result in skinny cows. 

Discuss these options with our vets to see if this could be beneficial in your situation.

Use plenty of Bull Power

We have investigated numerous cases of high empty rates where poor bull performance was implicated.  Lameness, sickness, Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD), infertility and low bull power were all seen.  Ensure that bulls going to the herd are at the very least healthy, clear for BVD and present in sufficient numbers to be able to do the job.  There should be 1 bull per 30 empties in with the herd on each day.  50-100% of that number of bulls should be resting and available to be rotated every two days.  100% resting is the Dairy NZ advice.  For example, five bulls in a 300 cow herd.  Having your bulls fertility checked prior to introduction to the herd can also prevent a disaster occurring when all else looks fine. 

Contact our clinics for a booking.
Grow heifer and calves well
Heifers start to cycle when they hit weight targets rather than after reaching a certain age.  Whilst it may be a little late to get this years 15 month heifers up to weight, ensure that this seasons calves are given a good start.  Keep calves growing on quality feed.  Where pasture quality is marginal, concentrates such as meal or PKE and maize silage can boost the nutritive value of the ration and enable calves to grow well.  This will have pay backs not only in reproduction but in production during their first lactation.
Maintain good post grazing residuals
One of the key issues in terms of pasture management is to ensure that pasture residuals are kept low enough this round to allow quality feed to be produced in the next round.  This may mean, topping, putting the milkers back into clean out paddocks or by grazing dry cows or young stock behind the milkers.  When grazing stock behind the milkers ensure that their weight gains are not comprised.