Take a look at some key actions to take ahead of winter milking.
- Assess current performance (Table 2). Make a plan.
- At 50% liquid contract or less, plan to commence autumn breeding cows on Jan 1st 2017
- Target 90% cows served in first 21 days breeding and 100% in first 42 days. Breed for 10-12 weeks max
- Check high risk cows (thin, twins, retained placenta) late December for uterine infection/non-cycling. Treat as appropriate before start of breeding
- Synchronize autumn heifers to AI early Jan. Use high EBI bulls proven <1.8% calving difficulty
- Use a team of 5-6 AI sires with EBI avg. over €260 and at least €120 for fertility index
- Target 0% dairy stock bull. Cull, or use easy calving beef bulls, for cows with history of poor fertility
- Assess herd BCS and UFL: PDI balance in winter diet
- Check weights of spring replacement heifers