Dairy Herd Management Articles:

A hidden opportunity: Heifer reproduction 
Heifer reproduction is not an area looked at very often, but some real opportunities exist to make improvements and cut cost.

Increase fertility during heat stress 
The use of in vitro produced embryos with sex-sorted semen could be a viable option for producers to adopt to maintain fertility during the summer months.

Semen handling key to good reproduction 
Use these tips to handle semen properly and get heifers bred.

Tips for reproductive success 
A heifer grower from western Kansas offers advice on different heat detection tools and tips for getting heifers bred. 

Heifer nutrition and growth rates
One calf grower shares his advice.

Take heifer reproduction to the next level
Creating benchmarks and goals can help ensure that replacement heifers join the milking string in a timely fashion. However, measuring, benchmarking and improving reproduction is not as common of a goal for heifers as it is for the milking herd.  

Is she pregnant or isn’t she? 
Here’s an update on the tools to detect bovine pregnancy status.

Six tips to getting heifers bred Heifer raiser Darin Mann of M&M Feedlot in Parma, Idaho, is focused on getting animals bred and back to the dairy producer in a timely manner. Read these six tips for how Mann effectively gets heifers bred.

Improve conception; keep those heifers cool 
Researchers in Iran recently studied the impact of short-term cooling strategies on pregnancy rate in Holstein heifers. Study results suggest that short-term cooling applied around the time of insemination could be useful in improving the success of heifer reproduction during heat stress.

Set heifer goals 
Dave Fischer, University of Illinois extension dairy educator, outlined three goals of a good replacement-heifer program during a heifer-management Webinar hosted by the University of Illinois last month.

Double your accuracy
Even if you’re not a data junkie, the latest changes in genetic evaluations are enough to blow your socks off. And if you are a data enthusiast, well, you’ve hit the jackpot with genomic sire evaluations.

Sex-sorted semen research
Sex-sorted semen is known to compromise conception rates, largely due to reduced sperm numbers per straw. However, virgin heifers showing strong heats are still good candidates for sex-sorted semen.

Performance of sexed semen in heifers 
Heifers are the most fertile animals on the dairy, and thus often are recommended as the highest-priority recipients of sex-sorted semen.

Achieve success with sexed semen
Sexed semen carries a tremendous potential, but it also comes with a few challenges.

Heifer heats easier to detect than cow heats
Still no best time to watch for standing activity, just a longer window.

When to start breeding heifers 
Jose Santos, associate professor at the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and ResearchCenter in Tulare, Calif., says heifers should achieve four milestones before you start breeding them.

Examine the pros/cons of synching heifers
Before you start looking for solutions in a syringe, make sure you weigh these pros and cons.

Tail paint stays on well
Bright green tail paint tells everyone on this farm that heifers have been confirmed pregnant.

How to confirm heifer heats
This protocol allows you to get heifers bred without having to watch for heats throughout the day.

Use tags to ID semen canes
Using ear tags to mark semen canes helps everyone at Siegenthaler Farms in Darlington, Wis., know quickly and unmistakably which semen gets used on which heifers.

Heat stress also affects heifer reproduction
Heat-detection aids and synchronization programs may be needed to get heifers bred in a timely fashion.

Do not use clean-up bulls with heifers
Getting heifers bred can be difficult, especially if you don’t have facilities that allow you to easily lock them up for breeding.

How to synchronize heifer heats with a CIDR
Use this new reproductive tool to tighten your heifer program's breeding window.

Heifers less sensitive to breeding time
To achieve the best conception rate, the ideal time to inseminate a cow is four to 14 hours after the onset of estrus.

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