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Preparation for the breeding season

Two workshops were held in late March aimed to prepare suppliers for the breeding season. Here are the main messages from the event:

  • Increasing your 6 week calving rate from 60 to 90% is worth over €12,000 on a 50 cow herd and over €24,000 on a 100 cow herd due to increased days in milk, better chance of survival and reduced repeat costs
  • Pre heat detection allows you to detect non cycling cows early giving you a chance to rectify the problem without prolonging the breeding season
  • Synchronisation of heifers will improve the six week calving rate, achieve faster genetic gain and will allow first lactation heifers more time to recover prior to breeding for the second lactation (reducing the chances of them calving late in the second lactation
  • Pick bulls with €190+ for fertility, +0.20% for protein and +30kg for fat and protein kg (+15kg for protein)
  • Keep an eye on body condition cows with a BCS loss >0.5 (20-25 kg) have 50% lower submission rates and 20% lower conception rates. Only milk thin cows once a day to recover body condition
  • When tail painting apply paint on the tail bone 9 inches up from the rump. Keep the line narrow (2 inches) to avoid confusion regarding paint removal

Thanks again to the speakers at the events and our host farmers John and David Costello and Jerry Moloney.

Boards presented on the day

Workshop: Preparation for the breeding season - Boards (PDF)