“We ultrasound cows at 33 days carried calf to determine pregnancy. Pregnant cows are given a second ultrasound at 60 days carried calf to confirm pregnancy, determine fetal sex, and to check for twins,” explained Brian Schilling of Darlington, Wis., whose farm won Platinum honors for a record fourth time in the Dairy Cattle Reproduction Award’s competition.

“At the same time, open cows with a CL are resynched with ovsynch with a 4 cc GnRH and double Lutalyse 24 hours apart. Open cows without a CL are given 4 cc GnRH and rechecked the following week for a CL,” said the southwest Wisconsin dairyman who farms with his brother, Andy, and father, Bill.

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 695 to 697 of the November issue of Hoard’s Dairyman. This year’s competition drew the second-largest set of nominations to date from 16 U.S. states, Canada, and Italy.

Here are additional responses to the question, “How do you confirm pregnant or open cows?”

Emerald Spring Dairy, Plainview, Minn.: Cows are confirmed pregnant via ultrasound at 32 to 38 days postbreeding every Monday. Pregnant cows are rechecked three to four weeks later and one final time before dry-off.

Jer-Z-Boyz Ranch, Pixley, Calif.: The University of California-Davis Veterinary Medicine Teaching Research Center team is at each milking facility biweekly for rectal palpations; we cover the in-house checks on off weeks. Pregnancy exams are done at 38 days postbreeding. We are considering ultrasound in the near future.

Plymouth Dairy, LeMars, Iowa: All cows have a herd health check every Tuesday using ultrasound. All cows are checked at 29 to 35 days since last service. If open with a CL, the animal is enrolled in our co-synch protocol. If open with no CL, the animal is enrolled in our co-synch protocol with a CIDR. All cows open over 150 DIM are enrolled with a 48-hour co-synch protocol with a CIDR and reinseminated at 72 hours (or basically double bred).

Rollin Green Dairy, Brooklyn, Wis.: We have vet check with ultrasound every two weeks. Postfresh checks are done around 70 days in milk, after the first round of ovsynch and ready to start the second. The cows are flagged to be checked for the first time at 27 days postbreeding; however, most cows are checked at 32 days postbreeding.

Open cows on vet check day are usually resynched with ovsynch. Any cow with three or more breedings is CIDR synched. Cows that are close to a heat are just painted and observed for heat. We ultrasound every cow at 32, 45, and 100 days pregnant.

Weisenbeck Dairy, Durand, Wis.: Our veterinarian, Dale Gilbertson, checks cows using ultrasound around 35 days postbreeding, and second check is done at 75 days.

This Hoard’s Dairyman Intel article is part of a nine-part series detailing top reproduction tips from the Platinum winning herds for the tenth annual Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council awards competition.

Click on the links below to view previous reports from this DCRC series:

They track fresh cow temps for 12 days

How they handle problem-breeding cows

We breed cows one week later, now

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(c)Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2017
November 27, 2017
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