News & Advice

Accurate scanning and post-scanning review for the win

Dec 8, 2023 | Dairy, Dairy Farm Reproduction

Pregnancy testing is a big event in your farming calendar. By choosing to get as much information as possible, about each cow in the herd, you can make sure you are maximising value for the money. This allows you to reflect on the success of mating, then knowledgeably plan for the remainder of this lactation, for a successful calving and productive lactation next season.

 

Pregnancy testing – what information should be my top priority?

Anexa Vets recommend scanning your herd early enough to ensure quality information is reported by opting for:

  • An aged scan (talk to your vet to work out the optimal time to scan your herd)
  • Manual confirmation of a non-pregnant cow (included in the per-head price)
  • Post-scanning review (complimentary)

 

Why should I opt for every cow to be given a predicted calving date? (aged scan)

For effective management decisions, knowing which cows are pregnant and when they conceived is essential, as this determines when they will calve. This allows you to:

  • Accurately determine the 6-week in-calf rate to assess overall herd reproductive performance
  • Differentiate AB from natural mating pregnancies
  • Confidently cull cows as empty, at the right time
  • Create a specific dry-off plan, with your vet, for each cow in the herd using predicted calving dates and individual body condition scores to allow each cow to be dried off at the optimal time before calving
  • Identify cows due to calve later in the season, giving you the confidence to continue milking those girls
  • Provide due-to-calve dates if selling cows
  • Accurately create springer mobs pre-calving, improving transition cow management
  • Plan feed and labour management right through the dry period, calving and mating.

 

Why should every cow be checked if found empty?

If a cow is found to be not-in-calf, we recommend that uterine and cervical health is assessed manually by a vet to check for infection or abnormalities; there is no point carrying over a cow with a uterine abscess or damaged cervix, for example. This check is included in Anexa’s scanning pricing. Anexa vets will assess uterine health and confirm empties by manual palpation (we stand by our diagnosis).

 

How will a post-scanning discussion benefit me?

Your in-calf and not-in-calf rates show how successful your herd’s repro season has been, but there is more to it than just percentages. A post-scanning discussion is your time with your vet to consider: What went well and what didn’t? Is there anything to tweak right now that might get you closer to your desired results? For example:

  • Do we need to book regular body condition scoring to track condition and dictate milking frequency or dry-off times?
  • Has lameness affected this year’s results? Would preventative measures such as hoof trimming, or a Healthy Hoof assessment benefit your herd?
  • Did your calving (and subsequent mating) pattern match staffing resources this year? What changes could be made to drive production and reduce stress?

The post-scanning discussion is a great time to reflect on how the repro season went. While it is fresh in your mind, it becomes a good starting point heading into next season, and it is included in your scanning pricing, so make the most of it. Or, if you want to delve deeper into the details and start making plans now, we also have the option to book a consult with your vet and one of our InCalf advisors (Anexa Vets with specialised training in reproduction).

Pregnancy testing is a key event on farm. We encourage all our farming members to use it as an opportunity to obtain quality information that can be applied to planning, budgeting and understanding your herd’s performance. Scanning bookings are well underway, with the majority of herds that scan in December and January already booked in. If you don’t normally scan with us or haven’t been contacted by one of us to organise a date then please get in touch, so we can find the date and time that best suits you and the information you need.

To request a booking, give your local Anexa Vet Clinic a call, or request a booking online.

 

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