News & Advice

5 Ways to maximise in-calf rates in your lame cows

Nov 8, 2017 | Dairy, Dairy Farm Reproduction, Lameness

When we have analysed the reproductive performance in herds there is huge variation in the in-calf rates of lame cows. The factors that influence the outcome of a lame cow are within your control. Record all lame cows so you can monitor their performance. This is critical for you to be able to review what worked for your herd: 

  1. Actively look for them and find them early in the disease process (only slightly lame). Lame cows drop feed intakes and production well before they are obviously lame. 
  2. Get them out of the main herd into a small mob, minimise time on concrete and tracks, ideally in a flat paddock, with minimal walking, adlib good quality feed and milk OAD. Lame cows lose BCS rapidly due to reduced feed intakes from less grazing time (as they sit down more). 
  3. Pick up the foot and fix the problem especially using a block/cowslip. If you can’t /don’t have time, then get your vet or our partner Hoof It to perform this task. Getting the sore area off the ground will get the cow walking normally better and reduce her BCS loss. 
  4. Put your resting bulls in the lame mob. Cows that are lame (both her and her lame buddies) are less likely to display signs of heat, however if she does come on you want to maximise her chance of being mated. 
  5. Treat them with a long-acting anti-inflammatory. Inflammation can cause the corpus luteum to lyse and therefore lead to early embryonic death. 
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