Success is only likely in herds that meet pre-mating cycling targets of 75% ten days out from mating and 85% at mating start date. May result in a low submission rate and poor reproductive outcomes with few options for addressing these.
Run them in a separate mob
Takes pressure off vulnerable cows. Begin at least four weeks before mating for best results. Can add extra demands to an already heavy workload, such as:
- time and effort
- rotation planning
- extra electric fencing
- setting up breaks.
Once a Day (OAD) milking
Begin six weeks from mating start date. Run cows in a separate group for best results. May cost you $33 in lost milk yield for every 28 days a cow is on OAD. This is worth considering when looking into this option.
The only effective option available once you’re close to mating. Hormonal intervention is generally more profitable the earlier you treat your cows because it:
- generates earlier AB calves
- allows returns to come in at the start of the second round
- reduces bull power demand in the third round of mating when compared to delaying treatment to three weeks into mating
- results in more days in milk and more time to recover from calving next season.
Early intervention means more animals will need treatment, which can affect your cash flow. So, decide how many cows you want to treat. Select that number from your non-cycler group, but only those worth investing in. Focus on your young, high genetic merit and/or high producing cows. This will help you contain costs while maximising the benefits of early intervention.
Your vet can do a cost-benefit analysis and give you tailored advice for your herd.
Because your non-cyclers' heats are going to synchronise, you'll need more semen. Give your AB technician at least a week’s notice of your increased demand.
Increased feeding during lactation can benefit reproduction in cows experiencing a feed pinch. In herds with adequate nutrition, the effect on reproduction is negligible.
For some farmers a more attractive option may be to reduce stocking rate. Stocking rate is the number of cows per hectare or acre. Review your situation with your rural professionals.
Teaser (vasectomised) bulls aren't an effective option for dealing with non-cycling cows. They're good heat detectors, but there's no robust scientific evidence they stimulate cycling.
If heat detection is sub-optimal, they might help reduce the number of missed heats during mating.