Mark E. Carson BSc. (Agr). MSc., Gencor Herd Reproduction Analyst
Often when a herd is having reproductive problems focus is given to what is currently happening to the cows in the herd. Sometimes, however, looking back on our historical data we can find the root causes of many fertility issues.
The transition period, for example, is the most critical time in a cow’s lactation. It’s during this time that cows are at a higher risk of developing disease; and, disease during the transition time can lead to reduced production and fertility throughout the entire lactation.
During a herd visit last winter, we visited a dairy with excellent disease recording and calving information. Unfortunately, though, this herd was battling reduced conception, especially at first service. Luckily, part of their disease recording protocol included documenting all diseases that occurred to their transition cows. To detect problems in the herd, an accurate starting point needs to be determined. Having recorded all disease information using a herd management program such as Dairy Comp 305, an owner, herdsman or herd advisor can more efficiently pinpoint reproduction problems and their causes.
With this information available, we began to see that a significant percentage of the cows experiencing conception problems were the same cows that had problems at calving. We identified that a group of cows that had Metritis during the summer ... Read More...