NEW ZEALAND – Severely tested New Zealand dairy businesses are being told to focus on heat detection to keep breeding costs in check.
Sound heat detection protocols are a high return, low cost activity, DairyNZ has advised farmers with an eye on their wallet this season.
The levy board states that missed heats and false inseminations are ways to waste the great efforts poured into building a fertile dairy herd.
Day to day management of working bulls is another way to ensure efficient breeding.
Artificially inseminating cows not in heat is a “wasteful expense” that studies have shown can result in an already pregnant cow losing pregnancy, said DairyNZ. Two suggested reasons are physical disruption of the cervix or uterine lining, possibly through pistolette or manual manipulation by the technician.
A further warning has been issued, advising herd managers to supervise inexperienced staff with detections.
A press release said: “It has been reported that some farmers do heat detection for the first three weeks, then allow inexperienced staff to get some practice. This is not a good idea unless staff are closely supervised and coached.”