TIPS FOR THE MONTH OF MAY 2014
1. Spring calved cows are performing extremely well on grass based milk production systems. This milk production performance is at the expense of BCS on many farms. Cows need a balanced diet which avoids BCS loss, meets mineral and vitamin requirements.
2. Put a plan in place for heat detection if using AI in Spring calving programmes. You need to spend time with your cows to detect signs of heat or stressors preventing over heat.
3. Use heat detection aids as part of your breeding plans. Remember, these are aids. You need to spend time with your cows watching for signs of heat. Missed heats will cost you €250.
4. If you have not completed a prebreed scan, identify those cows eligible for breeding which have not been bred 21 days from start of AI. Various stressors may be at play. Reproductive assessment by scanning will identify underlying cause and enable these cows to either be bred to AI, bred naturally to stock bull or culled.
5. Sexed semen should only be used in maiden heifers or cows judiciously on the basis of a prebreed scan. Many cattle ate subfertile. The pregnancy rate using sexed semen will be lower than that using conventional semen. Maximise your opportunity to get cows in calf with a prescan.