Fertility is vital to maintaining a healthy income.
At Penbode Farm Vets we check for pregnancy and fertility trends so that problems can be diagnosed and solutions quickly put in place.
Our role on beef farms
We work with beef farmers to ensure they get the level of service which they require to run a successful enterprise.
While the role of vets on a beef farm have traditionally been seen as just for pregnancy diagnosis (PD) we provide much more to help you become as profitable as possible.
The main target for beef enterprises should be to wean 94 calves per 100 cows put to the bull. While a more realistic target would be 90%, we all need something to work towards!
At PD visits we will not only look at the number of cows in calf but also analyse those not in calf and investigate possible causes.
Getting cows in calf starts well before the bulls are put in so we will look into bull fertility, duration of calving, cow body condition, heifer management and infectious disease control among other things.
The main areas we would look at would be:
Replacement heifer management
Heifers should be 65% of their adult weight when going to the bull. Calf growth rate is therefore vital to get heifers up to the target by mating.
Monitoring growth rates either using scales or weigh bands is essential to know how close to the target you are.
If you are in a position to actively select heifer replacements, we can assist you with this by picking out those already cycling and if required using a pelvimeter to measure the internal pelvic area which can be a cause of calving problems in some heifers.
Pelvic area has also been shown to be inherited which means that by actively selecting for a larger pelvic area, those with smaller pelvises can be bred out of the herd.
Body condition score and nutrition
Body condition score management is essential to ensure cows are cycling at the start of mating.
By aiming to get them to 2.5-3 at this stage we can minimise the length of time cows spend in the anoestrus period post calving.
Our technicians are very experienced at body condition scoring and can come out to help monitor this.
Infections disease control
There are several infectious diseases causing poor fertility either through early embryonic death or abortions.
By getting control of these through testing and vaccination as required we can improve your fertility rates.
Strategic worm and fluke control throughout the growing period and as required in adult animals will improved the overall health of the stock.
Avoiding difficult calvings
Cows which have difficult calvings not only run the risk of dead or weak calves, they cost money in terms of time, vet fees and medicines, and they also take longer to get back into calf.