News & Advice

Scan early and reap the benefits

Oct 30, 2018 | Dairy Animal Health & Welfare, Dairy Farm Reproduction, Farm systems

  • More milk in the vat 

Why dry off a cow in March that isn’t calving until September? The difference between feeding a milking and a dry cow is ~ 6kg DM. At 30cents/kg DM this is $1.80 / day; a cost far outweighed by milk in the vat. Don’t forget, your later calvers will likely be the highest producers in the herd later in the season. 

  • Manage body condition and plan late season feed 

Set your cows up better for next season. Heavily pregnant cows (the early calvers) take longer to eat their daily ration and can’t compete with the later calvers towards the end of the season. The end result is earlier calvers tend to be lighter and later calvers are often too fat at calving. 

  • Transitional cow management 

Allocating cows to the springer mob is easy and accurate when you have calving dates for every animal. 

  • 6-week in-calf rate 

Your 6-week in-calf rate is the most powerful and useful indicator of reproductive performance. Early scanning helps you to identify areas where you are performing well, and also sheds light on aspects where there is room for improvement. You can also assess the impact of any management changes you might have made. 

  • Early culling decisions 

After the first scan, you can identify cows that are NDP (not detectably pregnant) i.e. rechecks. These cows will either be empty or late calving cows, so you can consider culling any older, low producers around Christmas time, before the cull cow price drops and the drought arrives. 

  • Value for money 

There is little extra cost involved for the amount of information you get. In a herd with a 6-week in-calf rate of 70% you would expect to have only 20% of the herd needing to be rescanned as NDPs/rechecks depending on the timing of scanning and the length of mating.

Talk to your Anexa FVC Vet today about booking in your early scan. Get the most bang for your buck.

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