News & Advice

How well did your herd get in calf in 2021-22 compared to the rest of the district?

May 31, 2022 | Dairy, Dairy Farm Reproduction

Katrina Roberts, Herd Health Veterinarian, Anexa Vets

Once again it is time to run the annual repro stats to see how our Anexa herds shaped up this season. There was definitely talk in some patches during scanning time about poorer repro results but once it all comes out in the wash the numbers are actually very similar to the success we have seen across our Anexa clients over the last 3 years.

The overall 6-week in-calf rate for the Anexa Vet Services’ herds, that pregnancy tested with us, was consistent at 72% – we can’t seem to shift off this number now we are there!

The empty rate after 75 days of mating has been consistent over the last 8 years at 12% (and we keep sneaking our mating periods shorter by a day!). We still have 1 in 5 of these farmers achieving at or above the national target of 78% 6-week in-calf rate, which is an exceptional result and shows that it is definitely possible!

The repro awards will be announced at some stage I am sure but if you are hanging out to know, you will need to have achieved a 6-week in-calf rate of over 83%, combined with an empty rate of under 10%, in less than 9 weeks of mating to be in the running.


Split calving or autumn calving herds

Those of you who are now split calving, or have completely swapped to autumn calving, may want to know how your results stack up. The cows (mobs) that were mated in the autumn had a lower 6-week in-calf rate (69% v 72% in spring), however this is a massive improvement with some great performance in the autumn herds now coming through. The autumn mating period was 10 days shorter (at 65 days) than our spring mating period and the empty rate was 17.5% (compared to spring 12%), which is a significant improvement on 3 years ago when I first did the autumn/split analysis and the empty rate was at 24%!

The positive news going into this autumn mating is that 20% of the autumn/split herds achieved 78% 6-week in-calf rate or more, which is excellent. Great performance is possible in the winter!


Yearling performance

I am still struggling to have big numbers of yearlings to analyse – I cannot overemphasise how important it is for us to have the data so we can let you know if there are trends occurring that need addressing at a local level. Each vet may be having a chat with you about “how the mating performance has gone” but with a mob of heifers here and a mob there were can’t really speak to the average. One area which is of concern is that the average mating length was 75 days, which is the same mating length as the herd. These late-calving heifers are going to be an ongoing cost to your business. The average empty rate was 7% this season.

So now you know the local numbers, I encourage you to consider where you sit relative to the district and how close is this to where you want to be?

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