What does a ‘Cow Repeating’ mean?
A cow repeating is defined as a cow who is cycling normally, with no apparent issues, but has failed to conceive after at least 2 successive attempts. Cows repeating is a major source of economic loss on any farm and can have a major effect on the profitability of the farm.
Symptoms of a Cow Repeating
- The cow has failed to conceive after 2 successive attempts
Causes of Cows Repeating
- Genetics: Poor genetics can have a large effect on cows fertility, and should always be looked at as part of a long term strategy.
- Age: Age has a definitive role to play in fertility. There is a higher incidence of repeat breeding in older cows.
- Uterine infection and repeated oestrous cycles: Any abnormality or disease infecting the uterus will negatively impact the animal’s health and its calving cycle. Disorders such as uterine infections, endometritis, pyometra, metritis etc. cause high embryo mortality.
- Improper ovarian function: Dairy cows often develop ovarian cysts which are a reason for reproduction failure. It is also one of the main causes of repeat breeding in herds.
- Artificial insemination: Any incorrect action/s across the several stages that artificial insemination involves could result in failure to conceive by the dairy cow. A dairy cow that has come into heat in the morning, should be inseminated in the evening and if it comes to heat in the evening she should be inseminated the next morning (A.M P.M Rule).
- Causes related to nutrition: Appropriate nourishment and an optimal body weight ensure a healthy reproductive cycle. Malnourished and underweight cows show poor rates of conception.
Problems from Cows Repeating
- Calving interval increases
- Cost increased by non-productive animals in the herd
Cows Repeating – Solutions
At Terra NutriTECH we work with each farmer to help find solutions to get cows in calf quicker. Our blends of fertility minerals are formulated to help solve mineral deficiencies on farms and get higher fertility from your cows.
Solutions to reduce repeat breeders:
- Bolstering the oestrus (heat) detection: Early and accurate oestrus detection is the key to keeping cows from becoming repeat breeders. Less than 50% of dairy farms have an accurate oestrus detection system. This is critical if conception rates are to increase since timing is everything. Cows should be observed for at least 30 mins thrice a day for signs of heat.
- Ensure correct transition from dry cow to milking.
- Minimising issues when cows calve is vital to increasing fertility in the herd. As it leaves the cow in a fit and healthy state for best conception results.
- Ensure insemination techniques are as good as possible. This is particularly important if you use DIY AI. Do not serve cows previously diagnosed as pregnant. If the cow is pregnant AI may cause foetal loss.
- Minimise stress at service: For example, try and avoid serving around turnout or when you change the diet.
- Nutrition: Taking specific care of nutrition during the dry, transition and fresh phases to maintain optimum body condition score (BCS). Looking at cows mineral status is crucial to determine if low levels of minerals are having an effect on fertility. Low levels of copper, zinc, iodine, phosphorus, manganese, selenium etc can have negative effects on conceptions. It is vital to supplement cows with the appropriate minerals to ensure maximum conception rates.