Friday, June 19, 2015

Hot summer weather and conception rates in Holsteins

From the July-August 2012 Dairy Newsletter

Everyone knows that it is harder to catch cows in heat in hot weather, and that even if you do, as many as 60% of conceptions begun in this kind of heat do not survive to term.    What options exist?

(1)   Sprinklers over feed alleys  allow cows a chance to cool down body temps and maintain normal
feed intake.      (2)   Increased access to drinking water  allows cows to rehydrate; if grazing, get the water tanks right out where cows are grazing.       (3)   Exhaust stale air away from stalls where cows are lying down, a bigger electric bill for fans may still be cheaper than lost pregnancies and delays.

Higher conception semen:  the #1 SCR progeny-proven Holstein sire (+4.7) is currently available here:
99HO 6145  Askew-James Barry   (aAa 4-2-3-6-1-5)   marketed through International Protein Sires.
He is from the “Bootmaker Mandy” cow line, sired by “Shottle”.     April data:   (86% Rel)   “balanced”
+393m  +08%  +36bf  +01%  +15pr   2.71 SCS   6% ce   +2.04 Type  +1.86  Udders  +1.46  Feet & legs

If  expectations of conception are really low, consider this option:   We have low cost Jersey semen:
179JE 026   Just A Few Jude Easton   (aAa 3-5-4-2-1-6)   which has proved extremely potent in cross - breeding on Holsteins as well as pure breeding on Jerseys.      Save your higher cost sexed semen when breeding heifers for calving ease until cooler weather—use this potent Jersey bull who maintains size now when the heat is going to influence conception rates in the best of conditions.

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