Check for pregnancy early and often

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You can dramatically reduce days open and the percentage of cows culled for reproductive reasons if you implement two simple strategies for pregnancy diagnosis, says Richard Pursley, Michigan State University extension dairy reproductive specialist.

First, if your veterinarian checks cows at 33 days post breeding, you should have a group of cows ready to check on a weekly, rather than bi-weekly or monthly basis. “Knowing sooner which cows are open will help to get these cows pregnant sooner, thus reducing days open,” Pursley explains.

Second, double-check pregnancies to confirm status. About 16 percent of pregnancies result in early embryonic death by day 56. Therefore, if a cow is confirmed pregnant at day 33, she may not still be pregnant a month later.

“It is imperative that cows pregnant at first diagnosis are checked a second time about 30 days later,” he notes. 

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