Early pregnancy testing - knowledge is the key!
Benjamin Franklin once said "An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest" ... such a famous quote rings true when you relate it to pregnancy testing your herd early.
Achieving a successful mating relies as much on decisions made before the start of mating as the important activities of heat detection and bull management during mating. Additionally most would also acknowledge that body condition is a very important factor in this equation. In no small way, body condition at mating relates back to the animal's body condition at dry-off relative to the length of the dry period. Drying-off decisions should therefore be based around calving date and body condition, to make the most of feed that is available without compromising body condition before calving.
So, as well as the management benefits of early pregnancy testing, the ability to accurately measure key performance indicators is essential for monitoring and improving herd reproductive performance. The six week in-calf rate (ICR) is a key driver of reproductive performance. Early pregnancy testing will provide the most accurate calving dates with the greatest consistency. Pregnancies are best aged between six to 12 weeks after conception. So, for most, this would mean doing your first test around six weeks after the end of artificial breeding (AB). Cows not pregnant, or if the pregnancy is not advanced enough to be detected, are then typically rechecked six weeks after the bull has been removed. Armed with this reliable data you will have the ability to:
- Accurately calculate your six week ICR
- Cull empty cows early if a feed pinch arises
- Decide on earlier dry-off of thin and/or early calving cows
- Decide to milk later calving cows on for longer
- Send the right animals off to grazing and know when to bring them home
- Accurately allocate cows to the springer mob
- Accurately assess foetal loses which may be an alert for an underlying problem such as Bovine Virus Diarrhoea
For those of you who have not yet signed up for Infovet I urge you to consider it. Talk to a neighbour who uses it, I'm sure they will convince you of the merits of simplifying the pregnancy testing recording process. Your veterinarian will be equipped with a toughbook touch screen computer and clients enrolled with Infovet will be able to enter pregnancy testing results directly into MINDA on farm. Infovet allows us to bring up the mating dates of each cow at the time of pregnancy testing. We can produce a pregnancy rate graph and fertility focus report to look at reproductive statistics quickly and easily.
Book your herd in today!