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Reproductive Management of Dairy Cows with Particular Reference to Organic Systems Michael G Diskin & Frank Kelly Animal Production Research Centre, Teagasc, Mellows Campus, Athenry, Co. Galway. Biological Efficiency. Reproduction . Production Efficiency. Profitability.

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Reproductive Management of Dairy Cows with Particular Reference to Organic Systems Michael G Diskin & Frank KellyAnimal Production Research Centre, Teagasc, Mellows Campus, Athenry, Co. Galway.


Biological Efficiency

Reproduction

Production Efficiency

Profitability


Overall requirements for organic milk production systems
Overall Requirements for Organic Milk Production Systems

  • Compact seasonal calving patterns,

  • Maximal production from grazed grass,

  • Low involuntary culling rates

  • Continuous genetic improvement of the herd


Reproductive targets
Reproductive Targets

Compact Calving: 90% calved in < 80 days

Low Culling Rate for infertility: < 5%.

Calving Interval: 365 day calving-to-calving.


Shortening Post-partum interval

Improving Reproductive efficiency

Submission Rates

Conception Rates


Post partum interval
Post-Partum Interval

Dairy Cows Mean=26 days (15-50 Days)

Beef Cows Mean=55 days (25-180 Day)


Postpartum reproduction cattle

Postpartum reproduction - cattle

Aim to have a calf per cow per year with peak lactation to correspond with peak grass growth


To ensure rapid onset of oestrous cycles post calving
To Ensure Rapid Onset of Oestrous Cycles Post Calving

  • Cows calve in a moderate BCS

  • Ensure high DM intakes post calving & minimise BCS loss – Minimise Negative Energy Balance (NEB)

  • Calve heifers early

  • Consistently use Sire with strongly positive sub indices for Fertility


Main Factors Affecting Pregnancy Rate

Conception Rate

Pregnancy Rate

Heat Detection Rate


The Effect of Different Heat Detection and Conception Rate on % of Herd Pregnant at 90 Days After Onset of Breeding Season


Heat detection

Heat Detection on % of Herd Pregnant at 90 Days After Onset of Breeding Season


Breeding
Breeding on % of Herd Pregnant at 90 Days After Onset of Breeding Season

  • Use of AI

  • Heat detection

  • Factors affecting conception rate


Primary Sign of Heat on % of Herd Pregnant at 90 Days After Onset of Breeding Season


Secondary signs of heat
Secondary Signs of Heat on % of Herd Pregnant at 90 Days After Onset of Breeding Season

  • Sliming

  • Restlessness

  • Mounting activity

  • Trailing other cows

  • Bellowing

  • Mounting or dirt marks

  • Skin Marks

  • Met-oestrous bleeding


Mucous vaginal discharge on % of Herd Pregnant at 90 Days After Onset of Breeding Season


Chin resting on % of Herd Pregnant at 90 Days After Onset of Breeding Season


Factors affecting the expression of heat teagasc athenry results

Factors affecting the Expression of heat on % of Herd Pregnant at 90 Days After Onset of Breeding SeasonTeagasc, Athenry Results



Effect of underfoot surface on duration of heat
Effect of underfoot surface on duration of heat per heifer during standing heat


Effect of number of heifers in heat simultaneously on the number of mounts received heifer during standing heat.


Duration of standing heat
Duration of Standing Heat number of mounts received heifer during standing heat

  • Average = 8 -14 hours (Range 3-30 hours)

  • Similar for cows and heifers

  • Range 3-30 hours

  • Interruptions in standing activity


Pattern of heat onset
Pattern of heat Onset number of mounts received heifer during standing heat


Improving heat detection
Improving heat detection number of mounts received heifer during standing heat

  • Commitment and understanding heat behaviour

  • Tail paint

  • Oestrus Alert Patches

  • Teaser Bull


Teaser bulls
Teaser Bulls number of mounts received heifer during standing heat

  • Use yearling bull

  • Vasectomise 6 weeks before intended use

  • Fit with chin-ball 2-3 weeks before introduction to herd

  • Castrate or sell at end of breeding season


Management factors affecting conception rate

Management Factors Affecting Conception Rate number of mounts received heifer during standing heat


Reproductive outcomes british friesian vs holstein friesian
Reproductive number of mounts received heifer during standing heatOutcomesBritish Friesian vs Holstein Friesian

British Friesian 1980

Holstein Friesian 2005


Change in bcs and conception rate

10-15% decline in conception for each 0.5 unit change in BCS between calving and AI.

Change in BCS and conception rate





Long term improvement of cow fertility

Use High EBI (Economic Breeding Index sires) between calving and AI.

EBI

Long-term improvement of cow fertility

Production: Yield fat + Protein

Reproduction: Calving interval

Cow survival


Summary 1
Summary -1 between calving and AI.

  • Calve cows in a moderate BCS

  • Minimise BCS loss in early lactation.

  • Have cows gaining in BCS at breeding.

  • Have heifers well-grown (350-380 kg) at 15 months.

  • Breed to calve early.

  • Minimise the risk of calving difficulty .


Summary 2
Summary -2 between calving and AI.

  • Increase submission rates by paying particular attention to heat detection.

  • Use tail-paint.

  • Carry out pre-breeding heat detection.

  • Ensure that the semen used is of high fertility

  • Use AI Sires with negative values for calving interval and positive values for survival

  • Correct AI technique

  • Inseminate cows at the correct time.


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