ARSBC 2018: Management decisions impacting reproduction and longevity in the Southwest

Adam Summers
New Mexico State University

What are some of the management things we do to help cows stay in the herd longer?

Most literature says a cow needs to produce 3 to 5 calves to be profitable. This depends on your level of supplementation and inputs.

Heifers that calve early stay in the herd longer. Cows that calve earlier produce more pounds of calf at weaning over their lifetime. Heifers that calve early produce 550 lbs more of calf over their lifetime.

Calves that were in utero during good years (above average rain) had increased birth weights and weaning weights. Calves that were in utero during bad years (below average rain) had more calves when they became cows.

Reduced body weight prior to breeding heifers did not change the rate at which those cows left the herd.

We are not using estrus synchronization and artificial insemination as much as we should. Main concerns were labor, time, and facilities.

However, we can use a PGF2 to increase the number of heifers that calve early in the season. We turn in the natural service bull and then give a shot of PGF2 4 days later.

Heifers that have larger number of follicles conceive earlier in the breeding season. Heifers out of older cows have more follicles.

Link to video of Summers' presentation:

See ARSBC Newsroom for more information.

Note: this post was live blogged and may contain errors.


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