Spring is truly upon us now, and mating is just around the corner. Here are some reminders and tips:
- Apply tail paint now if you haven’t already. Monitoring the proportion of non-cyclers will give you a heads up for fixing any problems early.
- Metricheck your herd now if you haven’t already. Identifying and treating uterine infections increases their chances of cycling and conception.
- Monitor BVD status – have you had your BMT checked for BVD? A simple sample pot can be sent to the lab. Bulls need to be tested BVD negative and vaccinated prior to mating.
- CIDRs give best ROI if used early, preferably before PSM. The standard program is 10 days for cows and 9 days for heifer synchrony. Heifers can also be synchronized with PG shots, but this requires heat detection and mating to heat over a spread of days.
- Check Body Condition and Nutrition. Are your cows holding BCS or losing it? How much is their intake? What is the ME and DM of the diet?
- Mineral balance and ketone levels can be checked with a simple blood test. Vitamin deficiencies or ketosis can have a negative impact on mating.
- Know the odds –Mating a cow that is not on heat has a 0% chance of conception andmating a cow that is already pregnant has a 20-50% chance of disrupting the pregnancy. It is crucial that a good process is in place for picking and drafting cows on heat.
- Have a strategy – Ensure that all farm staff are well informed of the process around mating.
- Cover off things such as:
– What heat detection aids will be used?
– How are the aids applied, interpreted and maintained?
– What is the process when a cow is recognised as being on heat?
– What is the process after a cow has been mated?
– What is each person responsible for?
Ag Day Lamb Leaflet
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Cecilia van Velsen