Fertility figures comparison

Jdunn55

Member
As athe title says really, how am I doing fertility wise?
Days to conception isn't as good as I would like bit think that moving the autumn's to spring will have impacted that, but the rest seems OK?
Production figures leave a lot of room for improvement :(
 

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Rossymons

Member
Location
Cornwall
Don't get worried about your calving interval. As you're moving cows around that will extend anyway. Plus it only takes into account your pregnant ones - anything that doesn't hold and is then barren won't be included.

The biggest single difference you can make is better heat detection. We can improve conception rates to a certain degree but if you improve your heat detection and serve another 20 cows then that's another bunch incalf without digging into your conception rates.

They won't get pregnant if you haven't spotted them bulling.
 

dinderleat

Member
Location
Wells
Your better to look at your preg rate, which is eligible cows for service who conceive.
But your 1st service conception is outstanding for 12month average at 75% which means if you block calve 75% of your cows will be incalf at 21days or as long as you start 42vmp you would get a ci of 340 for 75% of your herd
 
Last edited:

Farmer Keith

Member
Location
North Cumbria
It doesn’t look awful but what’s happened in the last 3 months? I’d keep a close eye on submission rate for a start, target 90% and if you’re not hitting that consistently you need to take a closer look at heat detection. Are you all AI or is there a bull to sweep up with?
 

frederick

Member
Location
south west
As athe title says really, how am I doing fertility wise?
Days to conception isn't as good as I would like bit think that moving the autumn's to spring will have impacted that, but the rest seems OK?
Production figures leave a lot of room for improvement :(
The main thing I'd say to tell how your doing look at a different set of data than what nmr gives you it is telling you very little.
Services per conception and conception rate are basically the same thing just presented differently.
A 75% conception rate is stunning if all other data is correct but nmr doesn't tell you.

Days to conception and calving interval are also completely irrelevant to you at the moment. Both numbers are bad in a stable situation but your moving cows. What you need to know is what percentage of the cows you are moving. If a large percentage were already in block then a few cows are having a big difference. If you were moving all the cows then you have only moved them 30days.

What data you need to know going forwards is submission rate of eligible cows in the first 3weeks. This is the only number that you can act on in the same year you serve. If it's to low seek help rapidly in week 4 to correct. Should be around 90%.

Then when you look back at the year look at conception rate. I dont know of any block Calvers in the mid 70s though mid 60s is very achievable.

Preg rate a number only any use to you if you all year round calve.
 

Jdunn55

Member
Thanks all, a few question
Firstly those saying heat detection isn't the best (I'm not disagreeing) how did you work that out from the figures above?
Following on from that how would you improve heat detection? I've been using estrotects up until now and really like them, I've used chalk, paint and kamers before and never really got on with them that well - found kamers go off too easily and chalk/paint it only takes one to like the taste of it and you have every cow bulling the next day plus I can never remember who should or shouldn't have paint on them

My suggestion for next year was to be slightly more organised with the estrotects and use a traffic light system with them, so on day 5 after calving I would put a blue estrotect on at the same time I remove the tail tape to say she can go in the tank to make things easy
Then I would record when that goes off so I know when to look for the next heat or alternatively if it doesn't go off within 25 days I can get the vet to have a look
Then once the blue has gone off, stick a green on, serve her when it goes green, then a yellow on for second service and then red for third service onwards

I was leaving the estrotects on for 3 weeks and then removing any that had gone off and replacing them but found that was working very well so now I stick one under my arm when I serve a cow to heat the glue up and then stick it straight on once she's served which works much better as I don't miss any or forget, plus I can see if she's still bulling and serve her again if need be
 

Jdunn55

Member
It doesn’t look awful but what’s happened in the last 3 months? I’d keep a close eye on submission rate for a start, target 90% and if you’re not hitting that consistently you need to take a closer look at heat detection. Are you all AI or is there a bull to sweep up with?
90%+ ai but anything that proves to be a pain to get incalf gets to go on a date with the bull, next year the bull will go in with them for the last 3 weeks of service (wouldn't have worked this year as had cows calving all year round but want to block calve properly after next year)

Last 3 months I've been serving problem cows and then autumn calved heifers, the vet who pd'd any of the cows due to calve in the autumn got the dates all wrong and none of them were dry for more than a week (meant to calve in October but ended up calving in august) which led to massive problems (dirty, mastitis, milk fever, retained afterbirth etc) which has affected their fertility, I also did a cidr synch program with a lot of them to try and get the front of the block fairly tight which worked well but not as good a conception rate as if they were ai'ed to natural heats - probably won't do again with cows tbh
Also had a group of 6-10 spring 2021 or autumn 2020 calved cows that I was really struggling to get in-calf so gave in and got the vet to check them out and they were all either cystic or dirty - lesson learned there, from next year anything that doesn't get in-calf to first service will be checked to make sure they aren't cystic or dirty etc, wish I did it sooner this year 🤦‍♂️ as soon as they were cleaned up or had a cidr to sort them out they got in-calf to either first or second service (all in-calf now!) Which is good but also frustrating as if I'd done it a few months prior they would still be in the spring block...
 

More to life

Member
Location
Somerset
Thanks all, a few question
Firstly those saying heat detection isn't the best (I'm not disagreeing) how did you work that out from the figures above?
Following on from that how would you improve heat detection? I've been using estrotects up until now and really like them, I've used chalk, paint and kamers before and never really got on with them that well - found kamers go off too easily and chalk/paint it only takes one to like the taste of it and you have every cow bulling the next day plus I can never remember who should or shouldn't have paint on them

My suggestion for next year was to be slightly more organised with the estrotects and use a traffic light system with them, so on day 5 after calving I would put a blue estrotect on at the same time I remove the tail tape to say she can go in the tank to make things easy
Then I would record when that goes off so I know when to look for the next heat or alternatively if it doesn't go off within 25 days I can get the vet to have a look
Then once the blue has gone off, stick a green on, serve her when it goes green, then a yellow on for second service and then red for third service onwards

I was leaving the estrotects on for 3 weeks and then removing any that had gone off and replacing them but found that was working very well so now I stick one under my arm when I serve a cow to heat the glue up and then stick it straight on once she's served which works much better as I don't miss any or forget, plus I can see if she's still bulling and serve her again if need be
your conception rates are excellent you don't have a vwp so your days to pregnancy should be below 90 days . I had forgotten you are trying to move cows into a block so This could be the overriding factor.
 

Jdunn55

Member
The main thing I'd say to tell how your doing look at a different set of data than what nmr gives you it is telling you very little.
Services per conception and conception rate are basically the same thing just presented differently.
A 75% conception rate is stunning if all other data is correct but nmr doesn't tell you.

Days to conception and calving interval are also completely irrelevant to you at the moment. Both numbers are bad in a stable situation but your moving cows. What you need to know is what percentage of the cows you are moving. If a large percentage were already in block then a few cows are having a big difference. If you were moving all the cows then you have only moved them 30days.

What data you need to know going forwards is submission rate of eligible cows in the first 3weeks. This is the only number that you can act on in the same year you serve. If it's to low seek help rapidly in week 4 to correct. Should be around 90%.

Then when you look back at the year look at conception rate. I dont know of any block Calvers in the mid 70s though mid 60s is very achievable.

Preg rate a number only any use to you if you all year round calve.
From the top of my head, I had 15 late autumn/early winter calved cows, about 15 cows that calved in january-february, another 15 in March, 15 April-may and then the remaining 20ish would be June-now

Regarding submission rate, when you say first 3 weeks is that the first 3 weeks of service or those that are seen bulling within 3 weeks of them calving?

So days to conception is almost irrelevant this year due to the moving of cows? The first cow I served this year is due the 7th of February so anything that calved in the winter and January will have lost time regardless, plus the 6-10 that I should have had checked earlier on could have what made the big difference regarding that figure?
 

Jdunn55

Member
Your better to look at your preg rate, which is eligible cows for service who conceive.
But your 1st service conception is outstanding for 12month average at 75% which means if you block calve 75% of your cows will be incalf at 21days or as long as you start 42vmp you would get a ci of 340 for 75% of your herd
Not block calving next year unfortunately, I take it that would mean that 75% of the cows are due to calve on first service then?

I serve a lot of cows twice to the same heat which could explain the higher conception rate
 

Jdunn55

Member
Don't get worried about your calving interval. As you're moving cows around that will extend anyway. Plus it only takes into account your pregnant ones - anything that doesn't hold and is then barren won't be included.

The biggest single difference you can make is better heat detection. We can improve conception rates to a certain degree but if you improve your heat detection and serve another 20 cows then that's another bunch incalf without digging into your conception rates.

They won't get pregnant if you haven't spotted them bulling.
What's you preference method of heat detection? I've had a few quotes come in for collars/tag/pedometers and not something I can afford currently even with the grant
 

Sylution

Member
Location
Carmarthenshire
Morning @Jdunn55 .

What I have done to my herd over the last few years is -
1. Breed plenty of replacements
2. Cull all problem cows
3. drop the Vet out for carrying out any fertility work. Sounds wrong but I just found I was keeping the problem cows. If you can A.I you can easily spot and treat dirty cows yourself.
4. Serve when bulling, I dont bother with the am,pm malarky. If AI needed to be so precise it would never have cought on. I am sure i have read somewhere that semen can survive up to 36 hours in the cow, so bang it in ready for the egg is my motto.
5. Sexed semen has transformed the job, sexed AI for three weeks on the cows to breed replacements, and then beef.
7. Create 2 calving blocks so that you can keep cows that you like, but only serve to beef. I add this because I know how much these cows mean to you, so will help ease the transition, and make sure you dont breed from the problem cows.

After carrying out this for a few years I have a herd of cows that are fertile, and I can spot the bullers every day with no need for heat detection. However having the cows bulling in the winter helps, for you being spring calving with cows out of sight I could see this being harder.

I have to remind myself of these points when bulling time comes around every year to make sure I stick to them. I did have 2 calving blocks to make life easier whilst carrying through this plan. Now I am happy that I can go to 1 autumn block.

These are just some points I have worked with, and am now happy with were I am. I know they might not suit your system, or anybody else for that matter. But has worked with me. Make use of the high barren price and relatively cheap youngstock price if you need.
 

frederick

Member
Location
south west
90%+ ai but anything that proves to be a pain to get incalf gets to go on a date with the bull, next year the bull will go in with them for the last 3 weeks of service (wouldn't have worked this year as had cows calving all year round but want to block calve properly after next year)

Last 3 months I've been serving problem cows and then autumn calved heifers, the vet who pd'd any of the cows due to calve in the autumn got the dates all wrong and none of them were dry for more than a week (meant to calve in October but ended up calving in august) which led to massive problems (dirty, mastitis, milk fever, retained afterbirth etc) which has affected their fertility, I also did a cidr synch program with a lot of them to try and get the front of the block fairly tight which worked well but not as good a conception rate as if they were ai'ed to natural heats - probably won't do again with cows tbh
Also had a group of 6-10 spring 2021 or autumn 2020 calved cows that I was really struggling to get in-calf so gave in and got the vet to check them out and they were all either cystic or dirty - lesson learned there, from next year anything that doesn't get in-calf to first service will be checked to make sure they aren't cystic or dirty etc, wish I did it sooner this year 🤦‍♂️ as soon as they were cleaned up or had a cidr to sort them out they got in-calf to either first or second service (all in-calf now!) Which is good but also frustrating as if I'd done it a few months prior they would still be in the spring block...
Perhaps for our benefits refresh us how your current calving is where you want to be and how your going to get there.

Withe regards vet involvement as a block Calver they should only visit the farm twice.
Once to solve problems early and secondly to tell you who is empty

The problem solving visit is conventionally 3 days before start of service to see everything not seen bulling. Personally have mine at day 21 of service because time is the biggest healer and a lot of those cows you see at day -3 naturally sort themselves out.
There is also a school of thought to deal with dirty cows earlier. I disagree with this one as well time will sort it or its too bad to be sorted.
With the use of sexed semen without a heat detection a bull is probably the best way of picking up the tail Ender's.
If you have block calving right it is very difficult to have enough time to have a vet visit that allows enough time to sort out of negative cows to serve again.

The quickest way to achieve a good block is to allow natural selection. If a cow has not made the block easily it is probably just postponing your problems for future years to work too hard to keep her.
 

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