“I am sure as science and nutritional advances evolve, we will evaluate and incorporate new technologies and strategies,” said Dale Mattoon, a Platinum winner of the Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council’s ninth annual awards competition.
“Cow comfort, both physically and mentally, is a huge focus for us. I expect we will further depopulate our pens and continue to work on educating our staff on cow handling techniques to minimize stress on the cow,” said the Locke, N.Y., dairyman who operates Pine Hollow Dairy with his wife, Colleen. Mattoon gave that response when asked, “What are some changes you might implement to improve reproduction?”
All six of this year’s Platinum winners of the Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council’s awards share additional insight in this Hoard’s Dairyman Intel as well as the Round Table found on pages 707 to 709 of the November issue of Hoard’s Dairyman. This year a record 128 herds were nominated for the award from 18 U.S. states and Canadian provinces.
Here are additional responses to the question, “What are some changes you might implement to improve reproduction?”
Copperhill Farm, Fairfax, Vt.: Cow comfort is something that we are continually trying to improve. We have started to replace rubber mats with mattresses and improved ventilation for cold months. A fresh group with low stocking density and headlocks to easily treat cows when needed would give cows a better start in early lactation.
Dunlea Dairy Farm, Coudersport, Pa.: We are not looking at any technologies for reproduction at this time. However, the research in cud chewing does interest us a great deal to aid with the transition and therefore, reproduction.
Pfeifer Dairy Farm, Bucyrus, Ohio: I have looked into other synch programs to eliminate heat detection. However, my thought is, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”
Seidl Mountain View Dairy, Luxemburg, Wis.: We are starting a new program — genomics — to help identify productive animals to raise.
SunBurst Dairy, Belleville, Wis.: Areas I like to look at first are facilities and nutrition. If an animal is relaxed in her environment, she usually responds. We’ve had tube ventilation on our wish list for the holding area. This past year we implemented the second prostaglandin in the double ovsynch system.
This Hoard’s Dairyman Intel article is part of an eight-part series detailing top reproduction tips from the Platinum-winning herds for the ninth annual Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council awards competition.
Click here to view previous reports from this DCRC series: