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The Milk House

Choosing activity monitoring system reproduction protocols

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Dairy basics - A.I. and Breeding
Written by Ray Nebel   
Friday, 05 September 2014 12:55

Identifying cows in heat is the first basic step in a good breeding program. While activity monitors can be quite helpful in this task, many herds find success when this new technology is combined with a timed-A.I. program.

Heat detection rates in North American dairy herds that are based solely on visual observations are near the 50 percent range. Most large dairy operations use tail chalk or paint and once-daily observation, which is superior to visual observation.


Add value to calves with a beef-on-dairy cross

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Dairy basics - A.I. and Breeding
Written by Kate Welter   
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 09:54

Angus bull

Some dairymen are looking for ways to grow their herd, while others are concerned about maintaining herd size. Yet, all producers are concerned about generating revenue and maximizing profit on their farm business.


Is genomics the key to better feed efficiency?

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Dairy basics - A.I. and Breeding
Written by Kelli Boylen   
Friday, 11 July 2014 13:36

dairy cattle feedingWill genomic selection be the key to improving feed efficiency in dairy cattle? That was the question addressed by Dr. Kent Weigel, a geneticist at the Department of Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin during his presentation at the Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference held June 11 and 12 in Dubuque, Iowa.


Manage inbreeding with good ID records

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Dairy basics - A.I. and Breeding
Written by Robert Fourdraine   
Friday, 11 July 2014 12:22

The topic of inbreeding has received quite a bit of attention over the years. Trends by breed and the negative effect inbreeding has on the bottom line have been well documented.

Managing inbreeding is not a new concept, and Dr. Bennet Cassell from Virginia Tech University has described the effects of inbreeding in various papers.


The top three ways to make genetic progress

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Dairy basics - A.I. and Breeding
Written by Chrissy Meyer   
Friday, 11 July 2014 11:52

Progress is a good thing, and in regards to genetics it’s no different. Genetic progress has been the topic of conversation as much in the past five years as ever before because of how it relates to and results from genomics.


Tips to fine-tune dairy heifer reproductive programs

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Dairy basics - A.I. and Breeding
Written by Fabio Lima   
Friday, 11 July 2014 11:35

For a variety of reasons, dairy heifer reproductive performance is not a primary focus on many dairies even though it is critical to future success.

But that shouldn’t be the case on your farm. There are a number of tools, including estrous synchronization and timed-A.I. protocols, that can ensure your heifers are bred on time and are ready to enter the milking herd and help you meet your herd goals.


Is whole-herd synchronization here to stay?

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Dairy basics - A.I. and Breeding
Written by J. Richard Pursley   
Friday, 11 July 2014 11:04

Are there technologies now, or potentially in the future, that will be more cost-efficient to drive pregnancy rate equivalent to or greater than current synchronization or fertility programs?

This was the topic of discussion at a workshop in which I recently participated. “Is whole-herd synchronization here to stay?” was the title of the session that took place during the International Cow Fertility Conference in Westport, Ireland.


Is it time to reset your reproduction goal?

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Dairy basics - A.I. and Breeding
Written by Martha Baker   
Friday, 11 July 2014 10:40

When it comes to your herd’s reproduction program, you might be satisfied with a 20 percent pregnancy rate, considering the national 21-day rate average is between 13 and 15 percent.

But even 20 percent no longer sets the bar – that’s yesterday’s number. Today’s top herds are pushing that figure higher and higher into the upper 20s and even past 30 percent.



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