Solving a low conception rate can be a little more challenging. The most likely culprits of low conception rates are poor compliance with synchronization programs or a poorly designed synchronization program, low energy status in the cows resulting in a high percent of cows that are not cycling, and poor transition cow programs that result in cows with below optimum fertility. Other less common problems include poor vaccination programs, low sire fertility, and improper handling and placement of semen.
To achieve a high pregnancy rate, target for a goal of at least 65% service rate and 35% conception rate. Another good goal would be to cull less than 5% of the total herd for reproductive reasons.
Achieving good reproduction is an attainable goal for all dairy farmers. If your reproductive program is less than desired, work with your management team to identify areas to improve and develop an action plan for improvement. The resulting changes will greatly improve your herd's profitability.
Table 1. Improved net return with increasing pregnancy rates1
|21-d pregnancy rate||Repro cost2||Increase in net return3|
1Cabrera - http://dairymgt.uwex.edu/markov/reader.php Net return increase compared to a 15% pregnancy rate and a reproductive cost of $20 per open cow.
2Reproductive cost per month for each open cow.
3Increase in net return per cow compared to a 15% pregnancy rate.