Synchronising – Why, Why Not & How

by Dr Charlie Blackwood WHY SYNCHRONISE HEATS? Synchronising cows can have many advantages including: 1. Easier heat detection Simultaneous display of heat by many cows enables easier detection of cows showing subtle or weak signs of oestrous. Heat detection aids such as scratchies, Kamars and tail paint tend to be more reliable when many cows are showing heat at the same time. NB- some synchrony programs have a fixed time for insemination and do not require heat detection for the first insemination. However, good heat detection after the initial insemination can be a critical factor to achieve overall good herd fertility. Good observation and application of heat detection aids are important for the full duration of the AI period. 2. Earlier detection of non-cycling cows Detection of heat earlier in the AI period allows those cows which are not cycling to be identified and therefore treated earlier. Pre-mating heat detection can also work well for some herds. Regardless, all cows that have not displayed a heat by day 21 into the mating period should be vet-checked. Delaying examination of these animals will be cost more money in the longterm. 3. Tighter calving pattern Breeding more cows over a shorter time frame can help tighten the calving pattern. The earlier cows calve, the more likely they are to get back in calf at the subsequent mating period. An increased number of earlier calving cows also increases milk production early in the season. 4. More heifer calves born early Early-born heifers have the advantage over later-born heifers in that they are more likely to achieve target weights for joining. Having a...

Non-Cycling Cows

The earlier non-cycling cows are treated, the better the return on investment. Economic analysis has shown that it is more profitable to treat non-cycling cows as soon as possible, regardless of your calving pattern.  Reasons for non-cycling cows:  Pregnancy: a surprisingly frequent cause for apparent non-cycling cows. All non-cyclers should be vet-checked prior to any treatment to avoid loss of a potential pregnancy.  Poorly grown heifers: failure to reach target weight at first joining and calving. Onset of puberty is influenced more by body weight than age. Cows in poor body condition: aim to have cows calve at BCS 4.5 (1-8 scale). Reproductive problems: cysts, infections or other issues with the reproductive tract can lead to non-cycling. Other health problems such as lameness, can influence apparent cyclicity. Late calving cows are less likely to cycle in the first month of joining. Speak with your veterinarian about how to effectively manage late-calving cows prior to the start of joining. Cows are cycling but heats were missed. When should non-cycling cows be identified? Prior to the start of mating: using tail paint and pre-mating heat detection. Cows not showing any signs of oestrous should be treated 10 days prior to mating start date. They should then have their first heat at the start of mating. All cows which have not cycled in the first 21 days of mating: these cows should be vet-checked as waiting for these cows to cycle on their own will cost you money.  Treatment for non-cyclers The main treatment for non-cycling cows is the Ovsynch program of which there are various different modifications. Modified Ovsynch Shown to...

Calf Nutrition & Weaning Workshop 16 May 2018

Flying Start Calf Workshops Wednesday 16 May 2018 Workshop Three:  Calf Nutrition & Weaning Presenters: Dr Gemma Chuck Apiam Animal Health, Veterinary Operations – Dairy Dr Ashleigh Hargreaves Warrnambool Veterinary Date: Wednesday 16 May 2018 Time: 6.45 pm for 7 pm start Light supper provided Location: City Memorial Bowls Club, Cramer Street, Warrnambool Cost: $50 per workshop or $200* for all 4 Workshops RSVP Terang: Phone 5592 2111 or email info@tmvc.net.au Warrnambool: Phone 5561 7666 or email...

Calf Disbudding Demonstration Thursday 10 May 2018

Calf Disbudding Demonstration Thursday 10 May 2018 10.30 am – 12 noon Join us for a demonstration of how stress free and painless the procedure is, for both the calf and farmer.  Improve your calves growth and wellbeing this season. Recent studies have found that calves receiving heavy sedation/pain relief and local anaesthetic prior to Veterinary Disbudding will have improved growth rates and appetites in the two weeks following disbudding. That translates to a 17% increase in growth rate in the 2 weeks following disbudding! RSVP: 5 pm Tuesday 8 May for catering purposes. Bacon & egg rolls provided! Warrnambool Veterinary: 5561 7666 Terang & Mortlake Vet Clinic: 5592...

Case of the Month – Ginger

Ginger is a great example of the benefit to having our senior pets thoroughly examined every year. Ginger is a 13 year old female Domestic Shorthair cat who has been a regular visitor to our clinic for her yearly check ups. Over the last 4 years she has gradually been losing weight and this year her owners reported that she has started to become disoriented around the house and vocalising more than she used to. She is ravenously hungry and occasionally vomits. Despite eating everything in sight she has now lost 25% of her bodyweight. Blood tests done at her most recent visit confirmed that she had the disease Hyperthyroidism. She will now start on oral tablets and be reassessed in 3 weeks time to check her response to therapy. Hyperthyroidism is a common hormonal disease of older cats. It occurs when the thyroid glands (in the neck) produce too much thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone controls the metabolic rate of the body, so cats with this condition burn up energy very quickly, typically losing weight despite eating large amounts. This disease is common in cats over 8 years of age and can occur in any breed, any sex and in – de-sexed or entire cats. Clinical Signs Clinical signs of hyperthyroidism often develop slowly so that owners initially dismiss them as normal aging. They then become quite dramatic and cats can become very sick with this disease.  The indicators of possible hyperthyroidism are: 1. Weight loss 2. Increased appetite 3. Increased thirst 4. Irritability 5. Restlessness 6. Vomiting 7. Diarrhoea 8. Weakness 9. Rapid heartrate (>200)   In most cases...