Tips for optimising breeding performance

Apr 15, 09:35 AM

Dairy specialist Stuart Childs joins Emma-Louise Coffey to explain the various steps to optimise breeding performance for your farm. 

Stuart identifies 3-week submission rate as the most important KPI for farmers to target. 

He considers the length of time to mating start date which is anywhere between 10 and 20 days away. Stuart recommends tail painting the whole herd and addressing cows who fail to cycle. 

Many farmers have changed the calving date on their farms following the difficult spring in 2018.  While 2018 presented a particularly difficult spring, Stuart recommends farmers don't make a dramatic change to their normal calving start date based on one year!

Stuart also discussed all the heat detection aids available from visual observation to tail paint, scratch cards, teaser bulls to the more recent technology aids, explaining that all heat detection aids work but if they aren't hitting targets, he recommends you look to the cow and also the detection method to see how you can improve. 

Finally, Stuart reminds us of synchronisation protocols that can be used routinely for heifers and anoestrus cows and he reminds us to be very clear on the protocol to ensure each step is taken at the correct time.

For more information:

https://www.teagasc.ie/animals/dairy/breeding--genetics/breeding-management/