We encourage our clients to have regular fertility visits with the vet of their choice.
We believe that successful fertility management does not begin and end with the rectal exam. There are many other areas that need to be addressed. We will work with you and your records to build up a picture of where you are now and will set targets to aim for in areas such as calving to first service intervals, submission rates to first service and 21 day pregnancy rates. These targets need to be realistic and specific to your farm and they are essential if we are to maximise fertility management and not just have a “monkey see, monkey do” approach at the back end of the cow.
Central to good fertility is nutritional management (much more than just diet formulation) and we often use metabolic profiles to help in nutritional advice; control of infectious diseases such as BVD,IBR, leptospirosis, Neospora and Johnes disease; parasites e.g. liver fluke and lungworm; and of course staff training to ensure good heat detection. Together we can improve oestrus detection, reduce the number of days from calving to conception, increase pregnancy rates and hence increase your margins and overall profitability.
A clear indication of the fertility picture on a farm is important, we use powerful data analysis software such as Interherd Plus© and Total Vet© to allow us to thoroughly investigate all your data, analyse trends and see when problems are occuring.
We also offer a more thorough bureau service for Interherd where data is recorded on farm by you and is entered by us onto the program back at the practice. This data is then combined with NMR or CIS milk recording data to allow us to generate day to day management information for you. It also enables a more thorough analysis of herd performance and an in depth analysis of disease and its associated cost.
The data is used to provide you with weekly and monthly action lists and to generate lists of which cows to present to the vet on fertility visits.
We strongly encourage routine fertility visits on all of our dairy and beef farms. When you take on routine visits we allocate specific regular weekly, fortnightly or monthly visits at the time of your choosing. The advantages of having routine fertility visit are that you can tighten up calving intervals, treat uterine infections and ovarian problems as quickly as possible, this in turn leads to shorter calving to conception intervals and it also helps to pick up non-pregnant cows more quickly.
The routine fertility visit is also often used to gather information on the performance of the herd such as Body Condition Score loss in early lactation, BHB testing of fresh cows and urine testing dry cows.
In most herds, the following categories of cows should be identified and presented at the fertility visit:
- Oestrus not observed (ONO) by 42 days
- Not served (NS)by 65 days
- Abnormal vulval discharge (VLD) after 21 days calved
- Previous assisted/difficult calvings
- Retained foetal membranes (RFM)
- Pregnancy Diagnosis (PD) at 35 days
- Post natal Checks (PNC) at 21 days on all cows (earlier if RFM/Milk Fever/Twins etc)
Many farms now have automated heat detection systems in place which have helped to significantly improve submission rates and reduce calving to first service intervals. Where they are not used then we encourage the use of kamar or estrotect heatmount detectors.
Heat mount detectors should be put onto all cows when they reach 42 days post calving so that cycling cows can be identified and they can be served or at least not presented to the vet for ONO.
We would also advise that any cows you serve get a heat mount detector 3-4 days after service so that 21 day returns can be identified more easily.