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23rd February, 2019

Weanling heifers from suckler herds should be scanned prior to Sale

On a farm visit in County Cavan, a client presented heifers which were returned to him after previously being sold through a mart for a subsequent fattening.  The heifers turned up in calf and the purchaser did not want the risk of caesarean or calving difficulty.  It cost him €250 per heifer returned.  The client informed me that he had administered prostaglandin prior to sale of the weanling heifers to ensure that they would not be in calf, having run with weanling bulls and stock bull with the suckler herd during the previous rearing period.  The danger with administering prostaglandin is the risk that pregnancy termination will not occur in a proportion of animals beyond 65 days of pregnancy.  Therefore, it is essential to have weanling heifers scanned prior to sale once they have been removed from any potential fertile mating for at least 21 days prior to the sale.