News & Advice

Is your herd going to achieve calving condition targets this year?

Apr 4, 2019 | Dairy, Dairy Animal Health & Welfare, Dairy Farm Reproduction

Katrina Roberts, Anexa Vets, Herd Health Veterinarian

Unless you are regularly body condition scoring the herd, you just don’t know, it is as simple as that. 
We’ve been having lots of Repro Review/PD review/Incalf post PD meetings over the last month (if you haven’t had a chat with your vet then please book one in). The main aim of these reviews is to work out why you got the results you got, what worked and what didn’t – now is the best time to do this review as mating was not that long ago and you can remember most of what happened! 
Body condition score is often the white elephant, the ingredient of the reproductive cake that we are too polite to address – but honestly unless you measure it then we just can’t be sure how much it is contributing to YOUR herd’s repro performance. 
The herd below is a herd that has been regularly body condition scored (individually during milking) at four key times points during the season so far – at calving (so we know where we started), pre-mating (so we know how much was lost, but with time to take action on the cows that had lost too much), mid-mating (to check we were gaining condition and that the recommended strategies were working) and earlier this month to check on our situation for drying off. The recent score, as you can see from the graph, shows that the summer has been hard on these cows, and aggressive action is being taken on farm to ensure we get every cow back to where we need to be for calving, so that next season’s reproductive performance is not compromised. 
This herd is one of our top repro herds at Anexa, and as you can see they take BCS monitoring seriously. In this herd BCS is not the white elephant anymore.

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