6 Tips for Success
6 Tips For Success: Winter is coming
Winter is on its way and with it cooler weather, feed changes, and hopefully some time to complete those autumn jobs around the farm. Setting up right for winter is important to reproductive success next spring. Here are some tips as we approach the colder months.
- Look after the youngsters
R1s are approaching their first winter with feed and climatic challenges. Recent research into NZ heifer liveweights has showed a tendency for spring-born heifers to fall behind liveweight targets at 10-16 months of age, during their first winter.
- Don't just weigh them
Weighing heifers doesn’t make them heavier, but using their weights information can help to direct efforts and target stragglers. Use ‘manage animals’ in MINDA® weights to identify animals slipping into the action group. Select them and view their birth ID and how far behind ideal liveweight they are.
- Terrible Twos
We can’t forget about the R2s either, who will be starting to look quite pregnant in the next few months. Think about bringing them home ahead of their planned start of calving to mingle with the cows in the herd before they calve, unless they’re going to be managed as separate mobs.
- Take time
It’s not just heifers that need time spent with them! Consider sharing your knowledge in some training sessions for any junior staff before the well-deserved breaks begin. Ask them what they’d like to learn and do targeted training if time is precious.
- Dry off right
Having skilled staff on board makes a huge difference to reproductive outcomes. Consider a practical assessment as part of the interview process to give you insights into skill and attitude. Assess knowledge gaps in your team too, and provide training to fill them. See the DairyNZ Recruitment resources
- Quick Check
Are your pregnancy test results loaded into your herd recording software? If you’ve had pregnancies aged then make sure to enter the ages in MINDA™ in days to ensure you get the most out of your reporting.
Remember for calving that 95% of calves can be expected to arrive within ± 9 days of their expected due date, it’s just nature at play!
Reviewing results with your team provides a great training exercise and helps people join the dots of actions to outcomes. For help with any training, contact your local vet clinics to check if they're hosting events, scour the DairyNZ Events page or consider the use of a rural advisor.
Best wishes from the 6 weeks team!
Any questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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