Key areas which can help optimise dairy cow fertility will be covered in a new Lantra-accredited workshop module, and will be added to the Farming Connect animal health and welfare training programme.
The weeks before and after calving are important times for the cow therefore good transition management can have a big influence on her fertility, says Becky Summons, Farming Connect Animal Health and Welfare (AH&W) and E-learning Manager.
“Preparation of the cow prior to her calving and in the immediate few weeks post calving will have massive effects on her subsequent fertility,’’ she says.
“Good management of the transitioning cow sets her up for a successful lactation, and is critical to the productivity and profitability of a dairy cow.’’
Ideally, she should have a low risk of metabolic disease post-calving, limited change in body condition score (BCS) and her uterus quickly returned to full health.
To help farmers with this important period, Farming Connect has introduced a new AH&W training module, Optimising fertility: Managing the dairy cow from drying off to submission, which will be delivered by approved local vet practices throughout Wales.
Workshop attendees will work through the fundamental factors directly affecting fertility parameters and submission rates, says Ms Summons.
These include understanding the basic principles of a successful transition period and the significance of the dry period.
Guidance will be given on drying off procedures, dry cow therapy and selective dry cow therapy, and in body condition scoring.
“The workshop will cover how to identify BCS targets at various points in a cow’s production cycle and identifying the risks associated with over-conditioned and under-conditioned cows,’’ says Ms Summons.
Other advice will include monitoring space requirements and dry matter intakes, the comfort and environment of the fresh cow, recording valuable data and identifying risk factors associated with disease in the freshly calved cow.
This course is fully funded, but to qualify for that funding all attendees must be registered with Farming Connect and complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP).
Workshop attendance will be logged on the attendee's 'Storfa Sgiliau' CPD record along with a Lantra Awards’ 'certificate of attendance'.
Contact your local development officer or visit the Farming Connect website https://businesswales.gov.wales/farmingconnect/ to find out more.