A sizable amount of performance gains for dairy farms between Ireland and the UK are obtained through making good breeding decisions and bringing in exceptional genetics into the herd. Choosing sires carefully is very important for your cows because any poor use of AI judgments can have some long-term consequences for the future effectiveness of the herd. So, where should farmers start to ensure that they are getting the best from their animals?
Each cow’s first calving must be a success
All heifers you are planning on keeping as cows for milking must have a successful healthy first calf. The majority of issues cattle will have take place around calving season. Any problems during this time can have a direct impact on her facility performance heading into breeding season. Examples of some signs to look out for prior to calving are lameness, mastitis, milk fever, low BCS or any other illnesses. Where the heifer has a low BCS more than likely results in a difficult calving. So large focus should be put on achieving adequate body condition for all calving cows/heifers.
Keeping up excellent levels of nutrition
Nutrition is the key to having a health and productive dairy cow. Its vital that we understand the energy requirements of our herd to know a diet that supplies the nutrient needs for high milk production. Carbohydrates, amino acids, fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, and water are all nutrients required by the lactating dairy cow to meet the demand by the mammary gland to produce milk and milk components. However, in order to develop the cow that will produce a high milk yield, it begins with the nutrition of the calf and heifer.
The management of your herd
One of the most critical times of the year for having well controlled herd management is before, during and after breeding. Through first-class heat detection you can drastically improve your fertility performance throughout the herd. So whether your using the Moocall HEAT collar or a chin ball harness your repeat interval is should be relatively low. Achieving 70%+ conception to the first serve of AI or a stock bull would be classified as a very good result and above the national average. For any repeating cows or heifers, they should be coming back in cycle between 18 to 21 days. Ideally, all repeats would fall into this category. Anything below 17 days or over 23 days would be seen as inaccurate and unsuccessful.
Pre-breeding can bear great merit if after 21 days you have cows/heifers not served yet, actions must be taken to understand if there are any underlining health concerns and/or if they need to be estrumated (sponged).
For further advice on any of the above, please contact a member of the Moocall team to speak to some of our breeding specialists on +353 1 96 96 038 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about Moocall HEAT here: https://moocall.com/pages/moocall-heat-information