Fertility is one of the biggest areas that can affect efficiency on farm.
According to Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Fertility is one of the major factors affecting the efficiency of any dairy herd. It can account for one of the major costs of production and also represent an area where significant improvements can be made.
According to Teagasc dairy farmers should be aiming for reproductive targets in seasonal calving dairy herds to include:
To achieve these reproductive targets, we need to have the correct mineral levels in our herd.
Taking the Guesswork Out of Fertility.
If the cow is deficient in any mineral it won’t perform to its potential. Let’s look a little deeper into some of the factors affecting the fertility of a dairy herd.
According to TERRA NutriTECH this can be defined as a cow who is cycling normally, with no apparent issues, but has failed to conceive after at least 2 successive attempts. Taking specific care of nutrition during the dry, transition, and fresh phases to maintain optimum body condition score (BCS) is important.
TERRA NutriTECH recommends looking at a cow’s mineral status as it 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 and recommend using Fertility Magnesium Mineral and their High-Phos Fertility mineral.
A missed heat is when a cow does not come into heat as expected – also called sub-optimal fertility. This can pose a significant cost to the farm, impact calving intervals and lead to the loss of good animals. Cows should resume normal heats 30-40 days after calving, with the first heat normally being a silent heat. It is best practice to wait for a minimum of one cycle before attempting to put the cow in calf.
The basic vitamin and mineral needs for your cows are vital to not just their overall health, but also their reproductive health. Providing high-quality trace mineral and vitamin supplementation is research-proven to improve reproductive efficiency. According to DAERA low levels of dietary phosphorus, cobalt, copper, and manganese can all reduce heat behaviour, while high levels of molybdenum reduce copper availability causing the same effect. It is therefore important to ensure maintenance of the correct mineral and trace element balance.
TERRA NutriTECH agrees that these mineral and trace elements are all involved in a successful reproduction cycle and are essential for optimising cow fertility. For example, silent heats in the herd are linked to deficiencies in copper and manganese.
To ensure strong heats in cows, it is vital to balance mineral requirements and feed an appropriate level of minerals. This will help ensure all cows are serviced on time and increase the chances of cows going in calf. TERRA NutriTECH Fertility mineral blend will help with this.
Embryonic loss in cows or cows ‘not holding’ is the loss of pregnancy after conception. Loss of pregnancy is frustrating and can occur at various stages of gestation and for a variety of reasons. These losses clearly produce a negative impact on the reproductive and economic performances of dairy herds.
There are many causes of embryonic loss including poor egg quality, heat stress, inflammatory disease, reduced progesterone concentrations, and infectious diseases such as Neospora or IBR.
Disorders such as uterine infections, endometritis, pyometra, metritis etc. cause high embryo mortality. DAERA has discussed how Vitamin E deficiency has also been implicated in incidences of metritis and cystic ovaries in a study undertaken at CAFRE.
TERRA NutriTECH state that studies have shown that excess protein can have a negative effect on reproductive performance and fertility. Excess protein also leads to excess urea in the bloodstream. Increased urea levels are detrimental to embryo development.
Using TERRA NutriTECH Nitrobond to help reduce milk urea is recommended. This is a blend of plant extracts to help reduce the energy used and deliver a reduction in embryonic loss and increased milk solids. Another key nutritional factor is to evaluate is the mineral status of the herd as cows low in Iodine and copper have been shown to have increased incidents of embryonic loss.
Feeding a suitable mineral blend is crucial to supporting conception and pregnancy for the cow. Use Fertility minerals and Nitrobond to give your cows the best chance.
Any dietary issue that impacts on the cow and calf will also impact on profitability. It is therefore essential that all aspects of the cows’ health are considered and rectified so that optimal production is achieved.
Get these minerals into your cows accurately with the OrbVie Mains System, OrbVie Mobile System or the OPIS system. Every cow drinks water every day so if we can accurately dispense these minerals into their water then this is a win.
If we could monitor and amend this from our office or even from our phone, then this is would be a win-win. Healthy cows are happy cows, happy cows produce more milk, more milk is more profit and more profits makes a happy farmer.
Make sure you have your cows in tip-top condition 365 days a year with a good mineral plan from leading manufacturer TERRA NutriTECH.
Take the time stress and hassle out of dispensing minerals by embracing technology to help.
Take the guesswork out of the equation and measure what you are doing.
View the TERRA NutriTECH range here & connect with our product specialist to find the right mineral plan and dosing system for you and your farm!
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Call Ronan: (087) 708 6714