Dairy Reproduction: Identifying Problems and Solutions for Your Herd
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Dairy Reproduction: Identifying Problems and Solutions for Your Herd



Ray Nebel of Select Sires, Inc. presented this information for DAIReXNET on March 17, 2014. A recording of the full presentation can be found at ...

Ray Nebel of Select Sires, Inc. presented this information for DAIReXNET on March 17, 2014. A recording of the full presentation can be found at http://www.extension.org/pages/15830/archived-dairy-cattle-webinars#.Uyigy86nbZU,



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Dairy Reproduction: Identifying Problems and Solutions for Your Herd Dairy Reproduction: Identifying Problems and Solutions for Your Herd Presentation Transcript

  • Dairy Reproduction: Identifying Problems and Solutions for Your Herd Nutrition Transition Management Abortive Diseases Environment Cow Semen Ray Nebel, PhD Select Sires, Inc. Cow Comfort People & Processes
  • Goals, Key Performance Indicators, and Benchmarking • Goals are target levels of performance toward which managers are striving. • Benchmarks are standards by which performance can be measured or compared, and are not synonymous with goals. • Herds that represent specific categories (herd size, production level or geographic location for example). • A key performance indicator (KPI) is a metric that a dairy may use to gauge performance and whether future performance will be a success or failure.
  • Key Performance Indicators - Cows • Weekly hard count of new pregnant cows ‒ this should be between 8 and 10 percent of the number of milking cows and is dependent on replacement rate • Palpation pregnancy rate – best method to measure heat detection rate and is dependent of interval from breeding to examination. • Cows ≥60% • Heifers ≥80% • Number of cows leaving the herd within the first 60 days in milk – this measures involuntary culling, death and is an excellent indicator of the success or failure of the transition program • 4 to 5% at 30 DIM and 6 to 8% by 60 DIM
  • Key Performance Indicators • Butterfat percent for the first 30 DIM – greater than 5.0 in Holsteins correlates with cows metabolizing body fat and is an additional indication of the transition program • Week four milk weights – by reviewing the trend of weekly milk weight averages, a four-week comparison can be made between different divisions of time. This is another measure to evaluate the transition program.
  • Benchmarks: Size, region, level of production drms.org DairyMetrics
  • Reproductive Performance Pregnancy Rate Conception Rate Submission Rate Voluntary Waiting Period
  • Verify the Voluntary Waiting Period
  • Verify the Voluntary Waiting Period
  • Verify the Voluntary Waiting Period
  • Verify the Voluntary Waiting Period
  • 21 day Pregnancy Rate by Date
  • 21day Pregnancy Rate by DIM
  • Preg Rate Report Options – PCDART and DairyComp
  • Conception Rates Cow Labor Nutrition Environment Semen Major Areas Affecting Reproductive Performance
  • Areas Pertaining to the Cow Conception Rates Cow Transition Incidence of Metabolic Diseases Incidence of Metritis Body Condition ~3.25 @ Calving <1 BCS lost calving-1st service Locomotion Surface Trim frequency Cyclicity Disease Vaccination Program Mastitis Early Embryonic Loss Labor Nutrition Environment Semen
  • Transition Program • Body Condition Score • Dry Cow (Far-off and close-up) • Fresh Cows 3.25 – 3.75 • Comfort Level • Stocking Rate – 80% • Heat Abatement • Post-Partum Disease • Metritis - <10% • RP - <5% • Ketosis - <5% • DA - <5%
  • Transition Cow Index™ • Bunk space – both pre-fresh and fresh cow pens (30 inches per animal) • Minimize pen moves (10 days prior to calving) • Stall size • Sand bedding • Identify cows needing medical attention
  • Labor A.I. Techniques Semen Handling Semen Placement Synchronization compliance Heat Detection Visual Observation Standing & 2ndary Signs Reading Chalk/Paint Motivation Time Budget Adequate time or labor Areas Pertaining to Labor
  • Systems for Breeding Visual Observation Walk and Chalk Timed A.I. Activity System Natural Service
  • A.I. Technique • Area of Semen Handling • Thaw Temperature and Time • 95°F for minimum of 45 seconds • Equipment Cleanliness • Semen Handling (Thaw to Cows) • Maintain 95°F semen temperature • Semen Placement • ¼ inch past the cervix in uterine body
  • Conception Rate by
  • Conception Rate by
  • Conception Rate by Tech
  • Conception Rate: A.I. tech by code
  • Conception Rate: Interval Analysis
  • Conception Rate: times bred
  • Conception Rate: times bred by code
  • Timed A.I. Program • Review protocol and timing of hormone injections • Review hormone storage and equipment (19 gauge - 1½” needle) • When or IF needle is changed • Review compliance
  • Estimated results for different first service TAI programs in lactating dairy cows Source: Victor Cabrera and Julio Giordano. 2013. UW-Dairy Repro$ Plus: A Reproductive Economic Analysis Tool Synchronization Program VWP (days) Mean (Range) Presynch-Ovsynch-14 70-85 37 (32-42) Presynch-Ovsynch-10, 11 or 12 70-85 43 (37-47) Double-Ovsynch 70-85 47 (40-50) G-6-G 70-85 45 (37-47) Ovsynch 60-75 33 (30-37) Cosynch-72 60-75 26 (25-33) Presynch-Ovsynch-14 w/CIDR® 70-85 40 (35-45) Presynch-Ovsynch- 10, 11 or 12 w/CIDR 70-85 47 (40-50) Double-Ovsynch w/CIDR 70-85 50 (43-53) Ovsynch w/CIDR 60-75 36 (33-40) Conception Rate (%)
  • Environment Facilities Time Budget Cow Comfort Areas Pertaining to Environment
  • Conception Rate by Month
  • Typical Time Budget www.msu.edu/~mdr/vol15no3/cowtime.html Kathy Lee Activity Time devoted daily to activity Eating 3 to 5 hours (9 to 14 meals per day) Lying down (resting) 12 to 14 hours Standing walking in alley 2 to 3 hours Drinking 30 minutes
  • Stocking Density What is ideal stocking density???
  • Cow Comfort • Stocking Rate – headlocks/bunk space/stalls • Stall Size/Cow Size • Lunge Space • Bedding • Footing • Foot Care (trimming and foot baths) • Heat Abatement – Stalls & Holding Pen • Mastitis • % Resting • Cud Chewing
  • Cow Comfort Index
  • Stall Standing Index
  • Semen Sex Semen versus Conventional Sire Conception Rate Areas Pertaining to Semen
  • Holstein Active Proven Sires: Sire Conception Rate Stud +0.0 or > +1.0 or > +2.0 or > +3.0 or > Select Sires 58 42 23 6 Genex 26 20 15 3 Accelerated 28 21 14 6 Semex 26 17 7 1 Alta NA NA NA NA ABS NA NA NA NA Source: December 2013 NAAB Active Proven Sire List
  • Conception Rate Heifers: times bred by stud
  • Areas Pertaining to Nutrition Nutrition Transition Rumen Health Acidosis Ketosis Ration Particle length Mixing & Delivery Manure Evaluation Water Mycotoxins DON alfatoxin
  • Common Symptoms of Acidosis • Low milk fat test; < 3.0 • Sore hooves; laminitis • Cycling feed intake • Diarrhea • Liver abscesses • Low rumen pH (< 5.8) in 30 to 50% of animals tested • Limited cud chewing
  • Common Symptoms of Ketosis • Ketosis usually occurs within a few days to a few weeks after calving. • Characterized by low blood glucose, excess ketone bodies in blood and urine, lack of appetite, either lethargy or excitability, weight loss, depressed milk production. • Any factor resulting in a reduction of dry matter intake (DMI) increases the risk for ketosis. • Elevated BCS at calving (BCS ≥ 4.0)
  • Guidelines for Particle Size
  • Manure Evaluation • When used in context with the other things we evaluate, it can give you an idea of how well the rumen is functioning and where and how well feeds are being digested. • There is a sound, biological basis for why manure looks the way it does. • Color – Consistency - Content
  • Mycotoxins • It appears that at least six kinds of mycotoxins can affect dairy herds fertility: aflatoxin, zearalenone, deoxynivalenol, ergotamin e, ocratoxin and toxin T2. • Controlling mycotoxins presence is therefore extremely important and may be a relevant cause of infertility in lactating dairy cows.
  • Major Areas Affecting Reproductive Performance Nutrition Transition Management Abortive Diseases Environment Cow Semen People & Processes Cow Comfort