August 2014 Fertility and Breeding Notes

 
Doreen Corridan MVB MRCVS PhD 
Munster Cattle Breeding

Breeding Season Cows

1st August mating is 11th May calving
If cows are bred on the 1st August
Their expected calving date is the 11th May

Essentially the 2014 breeding season is now finished.  Your focus should now shift to planning for the 2014 dry period and the 2015 calving period. Forty days after the end of the breeding season is the best time to scan cows as.
• The estimated age of the pregnancy is most accurate at this time than later scanning.
• It allows you to plan earlier the cows to sell and dry off times.
• Allows you to evaluate the 2014 season and plan for 2015

Key point: the breeding season is now effectively over, switch your attention to the 2014 dry period and the 2015 calving period.

Dairygold/Munster Bulk Milk Testing
By now herds signed up to the bulk milk testing will have received the results of their second test. If you are not already testing it is still possible to join. While you will only receive one test result for all the diseases and parasites however it is a good start in identifying the issues on your farm. Contact Aishling at 022 43228 to sign-up for bulk milk testing.

 

Milk Recording
Consider milk recording if you have not done so before. It has never been easier. You do not need to have meters or jars- DIY meters can be supplied.  Benefits include:
• Individual cow SCC information
• Improve and Monitor your dry cow treatment
• Monitor herd for SCC throughout lactation. Target the source of mastitis.
• Avoid the spread of mastitis.
• Milk Solids production data
• Know your most profitable cows and breed from them. Cull underperforming cows.  Increase the profitability of future replacements.
• Increase the value of surplus replacements sold.

Key point: Doreen recommends bulk milk testing and milk recording.

Replacement heifers 2015/2016 season
In-calf heifers
We are just 7 months away from the 2015 calving season.  Are your in-calf heifers weights on target? Weigh these heifers now, all of them need to be at the target weight, some believe that when the group average is at this weight all is well. Remember this is a minimum target weight that all heifers need to be reaching. Heifers calving down under target weight have lower production and poorer subsequent fertility.  These heifers need to be between 440-480Kg now.

 

2015 calves
We are just 9 months away from the 2015 calving season.  Are your heifer calves at the target weight now? Weigh these heifers now.

 

Key point: Weigh your in-calf heifers and heifer calves to check that all of them, not just the average of them, are achieving their target weights. Give those under target preferential treatment (access to the best grass plus/minus supplementary concentrates as required).