We may be full swing into calving but the mating season is approaching at breakneck speed. Firstly make sure you are up to date with selenium, as the follicles that you will be targeting at mating are the ones developing now!
An additional service we are offering this season, 3 weeks before the planned start of mating (PSM) we can send a tech out to the farm to tail paint all the herd for you. This will enable you to clearly see which cows are cycling and which ones you need to concentrate on, or target for programs. With visit and milage the cost will be $60/hour and we will supply the tail paint at a discounted price, and your choice of colour.
It is well known that non-cycling cows cost you money. Not only are they later to conceive, it means that next season they will spend fewer days in milk, are far more likely to be later calvers again or empty (increasing cull or carry over numbers).
Treatment of these cows 9 days before PSM on average in studies returns an additional 44 kg MS per treated cow. The first step is to identify these cows, which is where painting cows 3 weeks before PSM can help. Last year some cows kept perpetually having silent heats, this makes for a different situation where an unrubbed cow could be a true non-cycler (a cow in anoestrus) or an unseen cycler (a cow who had silent heats). Either way you want a protocol which gives you a fixed timed AI date, as not threatening an unseen cycler, she may just keep silently cycling till a bull catches her (that is if you use bulls).
The best results for these cows is the prosynch plus program, this is the 10 day program that includes a cidr for the first 7 days. It has been the tradition to wait for the first 3 week cycle of mating before doing intervention, but if we start the program at the start of week 4, those cows will not be getting their first service till week 5 ½, which only gives then one more chance to cycle (if your mating is <11 weeks) or only 2 additional cycles if mating is 11-14 weeks.