Farm Ireland

Monday 18 December 2017

Action now can increase the cow's chances of getting in calf

We are right in the middle of the busy calving season and for a lot of farmers, getting cows back in calf will not even be on their mind for at least another six weeks.

However, a little bit of work now could make all the difference when the mating season starts.


It is vital to keep accurate records as each cow calves.

Simply writing down if a heifer had a difficult calving, or if a cow retained the after birth, will allow you to get these cows checked before the start of the mating season.

Your vet can scan these cows two weeks before AI begins and treat any infection or issue that has arisen.

Similarly, any cow that is seen bulling should be recorded from now on.

Any cow that has not had a normal heat can be scanned before AI begins. Uterine infections, cysts and non-functioning ovaries can all be detected and treated by your vet.

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Now is the time to consider getting bulls vasectomised.

A bull should be vasectomised at least a month before he is needed.

He needs time to recover from the surgery and get used to wearing the harness in order to be ready for use when needed.

Body condition scored

All cows should be body condition scored before mating.

Particular attention should be paid to first and second calvers. Any thin cow should be ear-marked for some extra attention.

Milk recording

Milk recording data is also a good indicator of cow performance.

Your vet will analyse milk protein and milk fat percentages to determine if individual cows are suffering from Negative Energy Balance or acidosis.

Action can be taken before mating begins to correct these conditions, thereby increasing the chance that the cow will go back in calf.

A little action now could be the difference between a cow calving next February or next May.

Indo Farming