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23rd February, 2019

Scanning cows reveals body condition score alone will not deliver on fertility

On a farm visit outside Navan, Co. Meath I visited a large dairy farm where cows had been selected on the basis of either being presumed pregnant or not detecting oestrus. Scanning revealed a poor pregnancy rate and a high percentage of anoestrus cows, among those not confirmed pregnant. Approximately, 90% of the cows presented were in body condition score of 2.25 and 2.75. Based on body condition score alone the cows should have presented with normal estrous cycles. Poor locomotion scores would only have accounted for 10% of anoestrus cows. The client had previously failed to induce anoestrus in the cows. I explained to the client that there was an underlying herd health problem, which accounted for the anoestrus state. This would have to be rectified by preventing this stressor.