Turn up the heat on your cow’s heats!

Turn up the heat on your cow’s heats!

27 July 2020

One of the drivers of a strong six week in-calf rate is the performance of the herd during the first three weeks of mating. The industry target is to achieve a 90 percent submission rate within this time frame. With focus, this five-star target is achievable.

Wrongly identifying cows or missing cows that are on heat can be part of the reason submission rate targets are below where they should be. Staff and owner/operators understand that productivity is lost in milk production, cost of AB inseminations, and time and effort when the first three weeks of mating don’t go well.

Industry data states that at least four percent of the herd needs to be submitted every day for the first 21 days to achieve a 90 percent submission rate. For a 400-cow herd, that is 16 cows per day, every day. A smaller number of cows being ‘put up’ will result in a lower submission rate and not set the herd up for successful mating.

Nutrimol 4n1 has been formulated to address some of the compounds that can be deficient in the cow’s diet, especially after a wet and cold winter. The first port of call is to strengthen heats by improving hormone production. Stronger heats make heat detection more manageable for everyone involved, meaning key targets are more likely to be achieved, and more cows will be in-calf in the first six weeks.

Late calving cows are hard to get in-calf because the recovery time between calving and planned start of mating is too short. As the average time frame from calving to the first heat is between 35 and 45 days, then a further 21 days for the second heat, these animals need encouragement to cycle. A natural-based product like Nutrimol 4n1 can assist in addressing these issues because, as we know, too many late-calving cows will reduce herd reproductive performance.

Best practices will help to get the results!

Drive heat strength

For best results, start dosing Nutrimol 4n1 from calving at five millilitres (mL) per cow per day (mL/cow/day). Increase the dose rate at least 30 days prior to the planned start of mating (PSM) to seven mL/cow/day and continue until 60 days after the end of mating.

Support late calvers and non-cyclers

Identify which cows will need support and dose a one-off shock dose of 50mL/cow Nutrimol 4n1 to encourage hormone production. Continue dosing seven mL/cow/day during the mating period. Focus on mating until the end.

With the average mating length around 11 weeks, we need to stay focused on the long game. Continue dosing Nutrimol 4n1 until 60 days after the end of mating, at which time, you can reduce the rate to five mL/cow/day or stop dosing.

The benefits of Nutrimol 4n1 from a first-time user

Ashburton’s Kane and Anna Peters, have 450 winter milkers and 950 spring calving cows. They are first-time Nutrimol 4n1 users and know the challenges of mating dairy cows, having experienced first-hand merging a large number of cows from different herds after an M.Bovis crisis.

Reflecting on the experience, Kane says many of the animals were not at herd-entry weights, resulting in a 28 percent empty rate two seasons ago.

He also had 250 late-calving cows and needed to tighten up the calving pattern to gain more days-in-milk.

“I decided to implement a Nutrimol 4n1 programme at the start of 2019, and as an AB Technician, I saw cows cycling with more intensity, which made it easy for staff to detect. Our scanning results confirmed only 17 percent empty, which is a significant seven-point move. I also noticed from the first 850 cows we inseminated, we only had 10 short returns, and a fair amount of the late calvers got back in-calf earlier.”

Kane has already organised his 4n1 requirements for this season and can’t wait to see the drop in his empty rate.

Article supplied by Bell-Booth Ltd