New Zealand

Seasonal Spotlight

Successful reproduction takes a team approach

Successful reproduction image

Successful reproduction takes a team approach.   

Keeping a dairy breeding programme in high gear requires a daily commitment to following protocols and investing the necessary time to make it work.

Establishing a pregnancy is a step-by-step process that begins in the previous lactation. Fresh cows are uniquely challenged by the stress of calving and a suppressed immune system at a time in which their energy intake cannot keep up with demands. The result is a negative energy balance and greater risk of metabolic and reproductive diseases such as metritis. Transition cow management is critical —to prepare cows for calving, as well as provide the nutrients they need to improve their energy status. Without a return to a positive energy balance, recently calved cows will not return to healthy reproductive cyclicity, causing delays in conception. Even after cows return to healthy cycling, additional factors will impact their reproductive efficiency:

  • Missed heats: Cows that aren’t bred when in oestrus will not become pregnant.
  • Noncompliance of protocols: Delaying or missing a step in a synchronization program can reduce its effectiveness tremendously.
  • Ovarian function: Cows that have ovaries that are static, anovular or have ovarian cysts are cows that will have low fertility and likely will fail to exhibit estrus or become pregnant.
  • Reproductive disease: Several diseases can have a major impact on cows becoming pregnant, retaining an embryo and carrying a fetus to full term.
  • Environment: Cows that are stressed by socialization, housing or weather extremes will experience reduced fertility.

Getting cows pregnant is complex and requires a multifaceted approach. It takes the full commitment of staff and resources to maintain an efficient and successful reproductive programme.

CIDR® helps to improve the effectiveness of reproduction programs by tightening oestrous synchronization so groups of cows and heifers come into heat and can be bred in a narrow window. Groups of cows also can be synchronized to return to estrus after insemination for potential rebreeding in a desired time frame. Use of CIDR Cattle Insert can result in several improvements to a reproduction programme.

  • More cows and heifers become pregnant earlier, resulting in higher pregnancy rates
  • More focused heat detection and easier AI breeding within a narrower window of time
  • Accurate breeding dates of cows and heifers
  • Improved efficiencies in labor management

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