Mark E. Carson BSc. (Agr). MSc., Gencor Herd Reproduction Analyst
We’re often asked what top reproductive herds do to achieve reproductive success. Unfortunately, there are no magic tools that work across all herds, but here are some common management techniques which help herds find success. These are called “The Three P’s for Pregnancies.”
A plan without goals is like taking a trip without a destination; you’ll never know if you achieved the results that you set out to get! Setting up a plan with specific goals is critical to your reproductive success. Although the end goal is always to get cows pregnant, other measurements of reproductive performance are needed to ensure your cows are getting pregnant in an effective and efficient manner.
Here are the key questions that your plan needs to answer to make sure your herd ends up at the right destination:
• What pregnancy rate do I want to achieve? Average pregnancy rates in many places are at 14%. A herd goal should be well above the average at +20% .
• How many pregnancies per month do I need? It is suggested that 10% of your herd should be calving every month. To achieve 10% calving per month, at least 10% of your herd should be getting pregnant each month.
• When on average does first breeding occur? We recommend that all cows get bred within 30 days after the voluntary waiting period has expired. So, if you planned to begin breeding your cows at 60 days after calving, ideally all cows should be bred for the first time by 90 days in milk. For herds that do the majority of first breedings with a synchronization protocol, all inseminations should occur in accordance with the timed A.I. schedule.
• How long does it take to identify open cows after breeding? Many herds have effective protocols in place to make sure first insemination occurs, but struggle to get open cows re-inseminated. Make sure your cows don’t go to long without having their pregnancy status confirmed. A good goal is ... Read More...