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MAY 2018
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
Management Hints
MAY 2018
Management Hints
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
X
Where somatic cell count (SCC) levels are high, a pre-milking
disinfectant spray is recommended;
X
Large herds with mastitis problems should draft out mastitic
cows and slow milkers; and milk them separately in the last row.
This means there will be no cross infection, and they won't slow
up milking.
Breeding reminders
Breeding and fertility management was discussed in detail in the
April issue. It is worth reading the April Hints again.
I am very surprised at how few farmers have used the sire advice
correctly to mate the best cows with the best bulls you will find
it will probably increase the price of milk by 1-3c/L and profit by
30-40 per cows. So, do it again.
X
Pick out your best cows default leaves them be mated to bulls
chosen but if you want to mate to Jersey you must tick that box;
X
Poor cows identified as late calvers, low on the Cow Own
Worth (COW) index and may be extremely low percentage fat
(F), protein (P) and fertility should be mated to beef bulls,
therefore tick that box;
X
I suggest you consider some of the following bulls from the
active bull list: FR2053, FR2424, PHC, FR2460, FR4242 (heifers),
FR4439, FR4513, FR4547, FR4518, FR4410, 4530, JE 2438, JE4289;
X
Don't entrust this bull selection task to a commercial company
or your friendly AI man, as they may have vested interests.
For late calvers, cows calved 30-40 days on mating start date
(MSD), Moorepark suggests the following programme:
X
Day 1 insert PRID/CIDR + Receptal/Ovarelin injection;
X
Day 7 PRID/CIDR out + prostaglandin (PG) injection;
X
56 hours later Receptal/Ovarelin injection;
X
18 hours later fixed time AI.
This programme requires the vet's involvement. It has been
used on infertile herds and, if it's not too late, you should
consider it as it is cost-effective.
To achieve the three-week submission rate of 90 per cent it
is all about the time you apply to it and the application of the
knowledge you have:
X
Use tail paint, or whatever heat detection aid, appropriately;
X
Spend time correctly identifying cows on heat, coming into
heat and going off heat all vital information to achieve your
target.
Check your submission rates against the following targets:
X
End week 1 30 per cent of cows submitted;
X
End week 2 60 per cent of cows submitted;
X
End week 3 90 per cent of cows submitted.
This is easily checked if you use different colour paint once the
cow has been served. All you do is count the number of cows
with new paint as a percentage of the total number of cows in
the herd.
X
If you fail to meet these targets, particularly the first week, ask
yourself what is wrong;
X
You now must make a huge effort on heat observation for
the second round. Are the cows too thin, are they grazing too
tight, have they infections, are there disease or deficiency
problems?
Body condition score (BCS) all cows now (mid-May and again
mid-June). Any cow that is 2.75 or under should be put on
once-a-day (OAD) milking for a short time. If cows are still losing
weight, even if in good condition, they must be put on OAD
milking.
Bits and pieces
Silage reminders:
X
If possible, split the first-cut cutting dates so that some
aftergrass comes in June 20-27;
X
Wilt silage, if possible, to ensure good preservation;
X
Post-first cut, apply 50 units N/acre for grazing and 70-80 units
N plus two bags of 0:7:30 or equivalent P and K for second cuts.
Use slurry if available (1,000 galls = one bag of 5:5:30); spread
immediately after cut, delaying N for one week.
Light calves should be kept on milk subs until 110kg for weaning
and fed 1-2kg meal (18 per cent P) until they catch up.
X
Calves that are 110kg+ now should be off meals.
Monitor calves and heifers that are with contract rearer; calves
should be 110-120kg now, while heifers should be 330-360kg now,
depending on breed.
X
In the agreement with the contract rearer you should get animal
weights every two to three months so as not to have problems
on collection if too light.
"The best teachers are those who tell you where to look, but don't tell
you what to see." (Alexandra K Trenfor)
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