Why use reproductive interventions?
Synchrony programmes such as those used for non-cycling cattle, heifers, and why-wait type programmes (used in cycling cattle) are classified as reproductive interventions.
To intervene means;
“take part in something so as to prevent or alter a result or course of events”. This is an important definition to consider as so often we have discussions with farmers who don’t want to ‘interfere’. This word, interfere, carries a lot of negative connotations – it gives
the impression that cows would do fine on their own and that we are just meddling.
As vets we recommend these interventions not just to meddle but because they are proven to alter your results.... for the better:
- More days in milk
- More AB calves
- Increased life expectancy of your herd
We are targeting peak performance and peak returns for your farms using these programmes. Yes the payout is down but the expense of tightening up calving pattern through additional feed, synchrony programmes or quality heifer rearing for example should be considered long-term investments that you can cash in on during high payout seasons down the track.
Imagine if last season you had calved 5% more cows in the first six weeks.
Doesn’t take long to work out the economics!!
The graph above is from a farm that presented 75 non-cyclers at the planned start of mating last season. ie. they had calved
>35 days prior but had not cycled. Only 44 were treated
(blue line) at the request of the farmer. The remaining 31 cows
(green line) were those cows left to ‘do it themselves’.
Clearly intervening early with non-cycler programmes makes sense
both for the benefi t of the cow and your business!
Why wait? - using PG to tighten calving spread
For herds with good submission rates (>85% of cows cycling before mating) a “Why Wait” program may help to tighten up that calving spread. A why wait program uses a PG injection to short cycle cows that are in the appropriate stage of their cycle.
For instance, cows that are on heat the week before the mating start date wouldn’t be expected to be mated until towards the end of the fi rst round of AB. If these cows are identifi ed and injected with PG on day seven of mating, 40 - 80% will short-cycle and be mated by day 12 of mating. Cows on heat between 7 and 14 days prior to the PSM can be injected on the day before PSM, to cycle in the first few days, again bringing 40 - 80% cows forward by a week.
Furthermore, cows mated to a heat induced by PG have a slightly higher conception rate, than a natural heat occurring at the same time. Note, we do see quite large variations in results between herds, and this program is not designed to replace non-cycler cow treatments, but is an additional tool.
We can design a ‘why wait’ program to suit your system. Talk to one of the vets ASAP to get the planning underway.