Important factors to consider for proper cow pregnancy management

When cows get pregnant on time, they produce more milk, have shorter calving intervals, and give birth to more replacements.

Professional Services veterinarian with Boehringer Ingelheim, Dr. Jen Roberts says that a farmer or rancher’s first focus should be on cattle management.

“Some of the most important ones to consider are cow comfort/stress management during the breeding period and pregnancy, nutrition for that cow throughout her lactation, and in particular fresh cow care, making sure that cow is well cared for during that transition period,” according to Dr. Roberts.

She says that synchronization programs can help farms getting bred close to the voluntary waiting period.

“For their first time AI, we can make sure that they’re started on that protocol at a time where their first breeding will be as close as possible to the end of that voluntary waiting period,” she states. “Furthermore, by synchronizing these cows and putting them into a timed artificial insemination program. It’s going to reduce some of the labor that may be associated with heat detection, as well as increasing our pregnancies by increasing the service rate.”

There are several ways producers can ensure their employees are contributing to the herd’s reproductive success as well. Roberts says that the employees of the dairy are the boots on the ground and play an important role in reproductive success.

“Training and retraining these employees, having opportunities for occasional refreshers of not only the how for implementation of these reproductive synchronization protocols, but why... clearly post the protocols as regular reminders of them, of which tasks need to be done at given times, and providing feedback often,” she adds.

The best synchronization protocol is the one you can get done on your farm consistently and accurately.

She says work with your veterinarian to find out what works best on your farm: “There’s really no one size fits all to these synchronization protocols and so your herd veterinarian is going to have the best knowledge of your cows, your farm, your management style, and which protocol is going to be best.”