“Remember that a cow is a mother, and her calf is a baby.” — W.D. Hoard
Dairy farmers have a special connection to mothers. Not only are many human moms helping keep farms on track, but we also care for the bovine mothers of our herd that provide that way of life. Working with cows, plus heifers and calves, every day is a constant reminder about the balance of creating lives. These are the lives that dairy producers are ultimately responsible for.
Bringing new calves into the herd is a main function on any dairy. Although the biology is the same on each farm, the processes and technologies that fit best with the herd’s management style often vary. The newest book published by Hoard’s Dairyman, Dairy Cattle Fertility, breaks down some of those strategies as well as the basics of reproduction into 19 detailed, practical chapters, each written by a different expert.
“Good reproductive efficiency is truly one of the keys to a more profitable dairy,” the first chapter opens. How can we become more reproductively efficient? The book details ways to . . .
- Analyze the genetics of fertility to choose the right service sires (Chapter 6)
- Prevent and treat reproductive diseases (Chapter 7)
- Deliver a calf safely and into a clean environment (Chapter 9)
- Support metabolic health of transition cows (Chapter 10)
- Set an appropriate Voluntary Waiting Period (VWP) (Chapter 11)
- Follow proper A.I. techniques (Chapter 12)
- Comply with timed fertility programs, including resynchronization protocols (Chapter 13)
- Breed heifers for the first time at the right size and age (Chapter 14)
- Diagnose pregnancy accurately and in a timely manner (Chapter 15)
- Utilize reproductive technologies effectively, from activity monitors to embryo transfer (Chapter 16)
- Evaluate reproduction benchmarks (Chapter 17)
- Care for bulls on the farm (Chapter 18)
- Feed for improved fertility (Chapter 19)
To dive deeper into why and how those management practices are effective, the book also includes chapters and diagrams on the hormone systems behind the bull’s and cow’s reproductive roles, fertilization, and calf development.
Whether you are an animal science student or an experienced herdsman, developing a deeper understanding and appreciation of creating replacements is sure to expand the opportunities the dairy industry can offer.
You can learn more about the book and pick up a copy at our bookstore.
Katelyn Allen joined the Hoard’s Dairyman team as the Publications Editor in August 2019. She manages the development, editing, and marketing of the variety of resources offered through the Hoard’s Dairyman Bookstore. Katelyn is a 2019 graduate of Virginia Tech, where she majored in dairy science and minored in communication. Katelyn grew up on her family’s registered Holstein dairy, Glen-Toctin Farm, in Jefferson, Md.