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Title:

Breeding and Replacement Management

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... to younger calves Weaning weight Calves born earlier are heavier at weaning Marketing More even batches of store cattle Replacement heifers ... Managing cows to ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Date added: 22 August 2019
Slides: 50
Provided by: NiallMc6
Learn more at: http://www.cafre.ac.uk
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Title: Breeding and Replacement Management


1
Breeding and Replacement Management
  • Level II Agricultural Business Operations

2
Objectives
  • Understand the reproduction cycle
  • Assess herd reproductive efficiency
  • Understand the decisions involved in developing a
    breeding plan
  • Bull selection
  • Selecting cow replacements
  • Bull and cow management

3
Basic Principles
  • Gestation Length
  • Interval from conception to calving
  • Average 287 days
  • Range 280-300 days
  • Oestrous Cycle Length
  • Interval from one heat to another
  • Average 21 days
  • Range 18-24 days
  • Calving Interval
  • Interval between successive calvings
  • Average 415 days
  • Range 360-500 days

4
The Reproductive Cycle
Calving
Calving
365 days
5
Spring calving Breeding cycle
  • Calving - March/April/May
  • Service - June/July/August
  • Weaning - September/October/November
  • Dry period - December/January/February

6
How do we measure efficiency?
7
How do we measure efficiency?
  • Calving Interval (Cow)
  • Number of days between calvings
  • Calving Index (Herd)
  • Average of calving Intervals
  • Calving Spread
  • Days/weeks from first to last calf born

8
Fertility Reports from CAFRE
9
How important is breeding efficiency?
10
Costing breeding efficiency?
  • Two herds of 50 Cows
  • Herd A Herd B
  • Calving index 380 days Calving index
    415 days

11
Herd A has a 35 day advantage in Calving
Interval. What is this worth?
Direct costs of cow slipping 35 days
Lost calf growth 35 x 1.80/kg 63.00
Feeding an empty cow Av daily cost 50p x 35 17.00
Total cost 80/cow or 2.30 per day
Herd A advantage 50 cows x 80/cow 4000
12
Indirect Costs
Replacing an empty cow
Financial cost (heifer cost cull cow value)
Financial cost Breeding extra replacements
Using a maternal bull on more cows
Biosecurity cost buying in replacements of unknown disease status

Calving not being batched
Extra handling time
Managing extra groups
13
Breeding efficiency?
  • Calving date slippage
  • Calf sold 1st October each year
  • Cow calves 1-3-11 - calf weighs 300kg at sale
  • Cow calves 1-5-12 - calf weighs 230kg at sale
  • Cow calves 1-7-13 - calf weighs 160kg at sale
  • Eventually - Cant get to calf sale as a cow is
    calving!!

14
Batch Calving
  • Having a clearly defined calving period or
    periods

15
Batch Calving advantages
  • Labour
  • Less time supervising calvings.
  • Reduced risk of difficult calvings due to overfit
    cows
  • Bigger/more even batches of calves
  • Disease
  • Reduced disease spread from older to younger
    calves
  • Weaning weight
  • Calves born earlier are heavier at weaning
  • Marketing
  • More even batches of store cattle
  • Replacement heifers
  • More heifer calves at suitable weight for bulling

16
Batch Calving disadvantages
  • Housing
  • More calving accommodation may be needed.
  • Disease
  • More calves at same stage if disease breaks out
  • Marketing
  • All ready at same time cash flow

17
Batch Calving achieving it.
Take the bull out!
18
Herd breeding decisions
  • Cow
  • Replacement rate
  • Selecting replacements
  • 2 year calving
  • Bull
  • Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs)
  • Physical characteristics
  • Natural Service versus AI

19
Replacing the herd
  • Cows do not last forever and will leave the herd
    for a variety of reasons
  • Old/ Sick / Lame
  • Empty
  • Poor fertility (Late)
  • Poor productivity
  • Other undesirable traits

20
Replacement Rate
  • Herds should have a clear replacement policy and
    plan ahead
  • Suckler herds have a typical Replacement Rate of
    15 30 (Average 20)
  • E.g. At 20 replacement rate, a 50 cow herd will
    require 10 replacements every year just to
    sustain itself

21
Selecting Suckler Cow Replacements
  • What characteristics are you looking for?
  • Hybrid vigour
  • Milk
  • Calving ability
  • Longevity
  • Size
  • Breed

22
Home Bred replacements
Advantages Disadvantages
Bio-security Need Maternal bull/AI
Performance History Reduced cash flow
Can select genetics Limited supply
Cost
23
Purchased replacements
Advantages Disadvantages
Simple to manage Bio-security
Plenty of choice No control of genetics
Cost
Time sourcing
24
Two year old calving
  • Most efficient
  • One less batch of heifers
  • Can carry 13 more cows on the same resource
  • Additional calves per lifetime
  • Targets
  • Serve at min of 60 of mature weight
  • e.g. 650kg cow 390kg at 15 months of age
  • Calve down at 85 of mature weight
  • E.g. 650kg cow 550kg at calving 24months

25
Bull Selection Ease EBVs
26
Bull Selection
  • Estimated Breeding Values
  • Genetic potential for number of traits
  • Comparison within breeds
  • Maternal Self Replacing Index
  • Calving ease daughters
  • Milk
  • Gestation length
  • Scrotal size (fertility)
  • Fat depth

27
Bull Selection
  • Estimated Breeding Values
  • Genetic potential for number of traits
  • Comparison within breeds
  • Terminal Terminal Production Index
  • Calving ease direct
  • 200, 400 600 day weights
  • Muscle depth / eye muscle area
  • Carcase weight

28
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29
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30
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31
Bull Selection
  • Physical Characteristics
  • Health Status
  • Correct
  • Good Locomotion
  • Temperament
  • High Libido
  • Conformation
  • Age

32
Bull Management
  • What should a normal bull be able to achieve?
  • A 90 95 pregnancy rate in a group of 40 cows
    over a 9 10 week period.
  • Young bulls (lt2 years old) should only serve 20
    cows in first season

33
AI or Natural Service ... ?
  • AI
  • Greater genetic progress due to better genetics.
  • Can match bulls to individual cows.
  • Detecting cows in heat can be difficult and time
    consuming.
  • How good is your AI technique does it affect
    your herd conception rates?

34
AI or Natural Service ... ?
  • Bull - Natural service
  • Time saving - does all the heat detection for
    you.
  • Conception rates potentially better.
  • Bull could have fertility problem.
  • Genetic progress limited compared to AI.
  • Danger especially indoors.

35
Primary Sign of Heat ... ?
36
Secondary Signs of Heat ... ?
- Most Important Signs
37
Secondary Signs of Heat - Less Important Signs
Restlessness/Bellowing
Licking other cows
Not standing to be mounted
Cajoling
Soliciting
Hair loss/dirt marks
38
Managing cows to achieve high fertility
performance
39
Importance of Cow Nutrition
  • Cows prioritise how they use their nutritional
    resources.
  • Produce milk for her calf
  • Maintain her body condition
  • Get back in calf

Decreasing priority
40
Condition Scoring Nutrition
  • A good guide to nutrition
  • Cows scored on a scale 0 - 5
  • Underfeeding ? thinner
  • Feeding more than requirements ? fatter
  • Important at mating, calving and weaning
  • Can reduce feed costs
  • Crucial to fertility

41
C Scoring where to assess.
42
Condition Score 2
43
Condition Score 3
44
Target CS for Spring Calving Cows
45
Target CS for Autumn Calving Cows
46
Pregnancy Diagnosis
  • Can be carried out at 5-6 weeks
  • Identifies empty cows
  • Allow for planned culling
  • Prevents feed wastage
  • Identifies bull fertility issues
  • Identifies twins
  • Can adjust feeding
  • Estimated calving dates
  • Planning housing and feeding requirements
  • Weaning dates

47
Herd Health
  • Discuss herd fertility with your vet
  • Vaccination policy BVD, Leptospirosis
  • Mineral deficiencies
  • Bull assessment (MOT)
  • Biosecurity
  • Individual problem cows

48
Summary
  • Breeding efficiency essential for profitable
    production
  • Targets
  • 365 Calving index
  • Calving heifers at 24 months
  • Use EBVs to produce high genetic merit
    replacements and finishing stock
  • Manage cow condition to maximise fertility

49
Assessment
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