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POST BREEDING CYCLE

 
PREGNANCY CHECK

HerdInsights generates a Pregnancy Check Report relative to service date.

 

The report which is accessible by the farmer, vet and scanner will generate a list of cows that require scanning

 

This report can then be used in creating accurate dry off and calving dates.

How is 6 Week In Calf Rate

Calculated?

This is calculated by counting the number of cows that became pregnant in the first 6 weeks of the breeding season and divided by the number of breeding cows in the herd.

The target for a compact calving system should be >70%

5 - 7 weeks after mating end date cows should be pregnancy tested 

  • Confirm cows pregnant with AI dates early in the season

  • Confirm pregnancies for cows that became pregnant to the bull and estimate expected calving date

  • Identify non-pregnant cows - the target for non-pregnant cows should be <10%

Based on the pregnancy results you should now calculate your six week in calf rate

 
HEALTH ISSUES

During this period the key health issues we are looking at are: 

- Embryo losses

- Abortions

- General health

 

EMBRYO LOSSES:

It can be very frustrating to have a cow diagnosed pregnant at the 45-day scan and then discover when drying off that she has lost the fetus somewhere along the way.  Embryo loss on farm is normal, expected and inevitable as it is a result of unhealthy embryos.

The costs associated with embryonic death will vary with milk prices, feed cost, when the loss occurred etc but you can be certain that early detection of embryonic losses on farm can save a significant amount of money!

 

ABORTIONS:

Abortion in a cow is defined as foetal death and expulsion between day 45 and day 265 of pregnancy and most cattle herds suffer an abortion rate of 1-2% and the maximum loss of 3% is acceptable in most countries.

The greatest risk of foetal loss is during the first trimester of gestation and then progressively decreases as gestation advances with a slight increase in the risk toward the lost month of gestation.  Aborted cows are 3.2 times more likely to be culled

GENERAL HEALTH

HerdInsights detects cows that have aborted or lost embryos by detecting the subsequent heat. Early identification of these losses enables earlier intervention saving money on expensive feed.

 

HerdInsights also enable management to evaluate the incidence rate of lost embryos and abortions enabling management decisions to be made around such things as genetics and nutrition.

In addition to monitoring and creating alerts on health issues treatment has commenced Herdinsights will enable farm management to monitor the effectiveness of the treatments by monitoring the animals feeding and resting behaviour. If a cow does not show an improvement, the Vet or farmer can see this by monitoring the cows behaviours post treatment. If there is no positive reaction then there has been either a misdiagnosis or an incorrect treatment

 

Key Performance Indicators

Heat Detection Rate:

Is your herd hitting the target for proportion of the herd cycling by MSD. If the proportion of the herd cycling is lower than 70%, it is unlikely that the three-week submission rate target of 90% will be met.

3 Week Submission Rate:  

Achieving a high three-week submission rate is a critical driver of fertility performance in seasonal calving systems.  

6 Week In Calf Rate:  

For a 100 cow herd, increasing the 6 week calving rate (heifers and cows) from 70% to 90% is worth €16,500 per annum (Tegasc).  HerdInsights have seen typical increases of 20% in 6 week in calf rates within the first breeding period

PERFORMANCE REVIEW

Failure to meet first service targets has been established as one of the major reasons for long calving intervals and high Culling Rates.

 

Submitting cows for service at the right stage in their oestrus cycle is known to be the single most important determinant of service success. Therefore the top priority in any fertility management programme must heat detection – which, in turn, depends on a combination of good expression of oestrus by cows and accurate observation.

Cost Implications

Within the Irish Dairy Industry the national average six week in calf rate is 56% (2014 ICBF data), well short of the 90% goal and at an estimated cost of €280 per cow per year.

 

This is because every 1% below the 90% target is costing you €8.22 per cow each year. If your performance is above the national average than there are still significant savings to be made. 


Key point: Teagasc research applied to ICBF data indicates that poor fertility performance is costing over €19,500 / year for average 70 cow herd with a 56% 6 week calving rate