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23rd February, 2019

Scanning cows reveals high empty rates in a commercial spring calving dairy herd

On a farm visit outside Kilmallock where 120 dairy cows and 37 replacement heifers were presented for scanning.  The breeding programme lasted 84 days with 57 days of AI and a stock bull with both the cows and heifers for the remaining month.  The overall empty rate in the dairy cows was 23% and of the 37 maiden heifers, one was diagnosed a freemartin, one with a genetic abnormality resulting in a single uterine horn and one heifer had a dead foetus at 65 days.  Based on these numbers and his plans to increase herd size to 150, it will not be possible to do this in the coming year because of the high empty rates.  We scanned the empty cows giving him a reproductive assessment on each empty animal.  He now plans to retain those cows which were empty but were diagnosed as fit for breeding for next years breeding programme.