Schilling Farms: We follow a 70-day VWP for mature cows and an 80-day VWP for first-calf heifers. All cows are given a prostaglandin at 21 to 24 days in milk to help clear up metritis/endometritis. Cows are tail painted with detail paint and walked every day by our A.I. team. Heifers have heat detection patches applied prebreeding and then are painted when confirmed pregnant. The heifers are also observed while restrained in headlocks once per day. Lactating cows are all bred on an Ovsynch 48-hour program for first service.
Sunburst Dairy: We have a 70- to 75-day VWP for cows in all lactations. Heifers are bred at 13 months of age. We use a double-Ovsynch protocol that we began using in 2008. One week prior to the first pregnancy check at 42 days, all animals are enrolled into a resynch program. We used CIDRs for third breedings and beyond. Cows are visually observed for heat. Cows with CIDRs are tail chalked. We use a double Ovsynch and resynch program for the cows. All cows are enrolled unless they are coded do not breed.
What advice do you have for producers looking to improve herd reproduction?
Collins Dairy: Feed good feedstuffs, maintain comfortable facilities with good flooring and regularly meet with your veterinarian and farm staff to stay on track.
Dutchland Dairy: Be on a reproductive (synch) program you and your veterinarian are confident in. Stick with it. Be consistent with your protocol and follow it.
Kloppe Dairy: Focus on maintaining good records and building a good relationship with your veterinarian to keep cow health top-of-mind.
Schilling Farms: Cow comfort, cooling, nutrition and fresh cow management are essential for a successful reproductive program. All four factors depend on each other for a successful breeding system. In addition, having set protocols and routines for synching and resynching has helped maintain excellent compliance essential to reproductive success. Find breeding companies that you feel comfortable with and that will spend adequate time monitoring the cows for heat.
Sunburst Dairy: Use your resources. Work with consultants, veterinarians and university/extension experts. Use your consultants to help you evaluate routines and listen to and follow suggestions. Work with your A.I. company on reproduction and A.I. solutions, and have a good team of employees that follow SOPs because timeliness is everything. Conduct ongoing reviews of protocols. Cow comfort is essential — evaluate barn layout or remodel barn layout for cow comfort if necessary. Monitor cow health and feed intakes. Do not overcrowd, handle cattle calmly and keep good records.