Synchronisation - what will work on my farm?
Synchronisation involves the hormonal manipulation of the cow's reproductive cycle.
The aim of this is to get more cows bulling in a shorter period of time to maximise labour efficiency and ultimately, get more cows in calf.
How it works?
Synchronisation is particularly useful in heifers. All heifers in the group are given prostaglandin on day 0. Any showing signs of heat are served on day 2 - day 5.
Any heifers that haven't shown signs of heat receive a second shot of prostaglandin on day 11 and are served on signs of heat.
Another method of synchronisation is the use of a cidr or prid (pictured). This is a device that is inserted into the vagina of the cow. It slowly releases the hormone progesterone, which acts as a primer for the ovaries.
When the CIDR is removed eight days later, the ovaries will begin to function and a heat will follow quite quickly.
What are the advantages of synchronisation?
Every spring, we hear of the advantages of synchronisation, the best of which are increased submission rates and increased pregnancy rates.
However, before any farmer undertakes to implement a synchronisation protocol, the following question deserves some serious contemplation: If I synchronise, can I handle the number of cows and heifers that will come bulling in a short period?