TIPS FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH 2014
1. Turning cows out to grass requires caution so that cows do not loose excess BCS. Ensure diets are balanced, avoiding digestive upsets as rumen microflora have to adjust to inclusion of grazed grass in the diet.
2. As calf numbers increase in the calf house, there are increased risks of calf scours and pneumonia. These have to be prevented as they have an epigenetic effect on future reproductive performance potential when females are 13 to 16 months of age.
3. Late calvers need attention now. You need to ensure that these cows receive fresh forage daily balanced for mineral and vitamins plus concentrates as required to avoid BCS loss during the dry cow period.
4. Late calvers also need a good housing environment, where overcrowding is avoided. Fresh clean water, clean comfortable walkways and a well lit house are a prerequisite.
5. If you are planning to use sexed semen in your breeding programme, it makes economic sense to scan cows calved greater than 13 days. We can assess which cows are most suited to the use of sexed semen resulting in maximal opportunity for pregnancy.