June 2015 Fertility and Breeding Notes

3rd 3 weeks of the Breeding season
For those who began breeding on the 20th April, we are now in the 3rd 3 week period. This is the March calving period.  The objective is to maximise the number of cows calving in March and avoid April calvers in 2016....Read More


Superlevy to Continue on 20% of Your Milk?

How is my herd’s calving spread costing me the equivalent of paying superlevy every year on 20% of my milk?
There are significant costs in poor fertility performance in dairy herds and profitability of grass based systems are particularly dependent on having a tight calving pattern with a target of having a mid-February mean calving date and calving 90% of your herd in six weeks. 
.....Read More

May 2015 Fertility and Breeding Notes

If you have been heat detecting pre-breeding get the cows not yet shown heat calved 35 days checked by your vet. Otherwise put forward the cows that have had milk fever, retained afterbirths, severe mastitis, digestive issues and those with discharges to be checked by your vet......Read More

April 2015 Fertility and Breeding Notes

Ensure enough bull power, this is crucial for compact calving, 1 young bull needed per 15-20 empty females. Our female numbers are increasing and our stock bull numbers have not increased accordingly......Read More

March 2015 Fertility and Breeding Notes

Doing an early milk recording in the first 30-60 days of lactation helps you answer the following questions:• Is your Dry Cow Therapy working?• Are you getting new infections in the dry period?• Are your 1st calved heifers having issues with SCC?• Do you know who to treat promptly?.....Read More

February 2015 Fertility and Breeding Notes

Nutrition in the dry period and the first 10 weeks after calving is key in achieving high fertility and production in the following breeding season. Issues for this season are exceptional long dry period leading to over fat cows at calving and quota restrictions till 1st April......Read More

January 2015 Fertility and Breeding Notes

In herds where Johnes is an issue production and fertility are affected; however cows are usually culled for infertility or SCC before they develop the clinical signs of Johne’s-scouring and losing weight.
Herdowner’s need to test their entire milking herd to get a handle on their Johne’s status, using either milk at milk recording or blood at the annual herd test.....Read More

December 2014 Fertility and Breeding Notes

Issues I have being coming across while going through the Dairygold/Munster herd health meetings in addition to Liver Fluke covered in last month’s Milk Matters (November 2014).

1. Vaccine Salmonella/IBR
2. SCC- cluster dipping
3. Vasectomised bull
4. Neospora
5. Johnes

Vaccination Programmes......Read More

November 2014 Fertility and Breeding Notes

Liver Fluke Dosing

Have you got Liver Fluke?
If you are on the Munster/Dairygold herd health testing you will know your
• Level of Liver Fluke
• Level of Kill achieved in winter of 2013/2014

 If not take some dung samples. The following is a very effective way to take dung samples:
• Scrape the yard clean.
• Let the cows stand in the yard until you have 15-20 dung pats.
• Take a teaspoon of dung from each dung pat and put all into a single screw cap container......Read More

Planning for the Dry Cow Period 2014
Is planning the beginning of the 2015 season

Proper planning requires three pieces of information:
1. Milk recording information
Milk recording allows you to identify the high SCC cows that need an extended dry period. These cows need to be given a long acting tube and some will need additional treatments....Read More

Milk Recording - An opprotunity not to be missed

Dairygold Offer for 2014 for new herds beginning milk recording:

• Agree to do 5 tests in 2014/15
-Do 1 now in autumn 2014
-Do 4 in 2015
• Cost is €12.50 per cow
• Either a Dairygold or Munster advisor will explain the report in detail to you this autumn and outline a plan of action for your farm.....Read More


August 2014 Fertility and Breeding Notes

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.....Read More

End of the 2014 Breeding Season

1st July mating is 10th April calving 
If cows are bred on the 1st July; their expected calving date is the 10th April

Key point: The next 3 weeks (first 3 weeks July) are key to avoid empty cows

Key tasks for the last 4 weeks of the breeding season
1. Scanning all of your cows bred 30 days and not repeated and those calved 25 days not bred now is hugely beneficial. This will identify empty cows in your herd and give them a final opportunity to be bred.  
2. Synchronisation and fixed timed AI is working well on farms. Synchronise your cows that are empty and not yet bred.....Read More

Breeding Season Cows

End of first 3 weeks-Crucial date in the breeding calendar
Three weeks into the breeding season
-If you Began breeding on 14th April-Your date is 5th May
-If you Began breeding on 21st April-Your date is 12th May
• Calculate your submission rate, number of cows bred/number of cows calved 35 days
• Make appointment with your vet to check all cows now calved 35 days not seen in heat to get them cycling....Read More