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Key learnings from the Breeding and Fertility Workshop

Thanks to all who attended our recent Breeding and Fertility Workshop which was held at Bandon Mart on April 4th last.  We were delighted to have so many farmers in attendance and we have already received great feedback about the speakers and the Body Condition scoring demonstrations.  Special mention of gratitude to Tom McCarthy of Bandon Mart for allowing us the use of their venue and to Donal Kiely for providing cows and heifers for the demonstrations.

Thanks to our three speakers:

  •          Doreen Corridan, Munster AI  who as always provided an insightful and entertaining presentation on Herd Health, Heat detection and Synchronisation Programmes
  •          Terry Dillon, Munster AI who provided an excellent presentation on Bull Selection
  •          Dr. Morgan Sheehy, Devenish Nutrition who spoke in length on Dairy cow Pre Breeding Nutrition and provided a  Live Body Condition Scoring Demonstration in mart ring and cattle crush

Billy Heffernan of Bandon Co-op, Terry Dillon and Doreen Corridan of Munster AI, Morgan Sheehy of Devenish Nutrition and Denis O’Mullane of Bandon Co-op, photographed at the Fertility and Breeding Workshop.

Doreen discussed the importance of heat detection on farms and the various heat detection aids available to farmers. She highlighted the reduction in mounting activity a few weeks into the breeding season as a critical time where heats can easily be missed. Heat detection aids are also a great way to identify cows not cycling and allowing them to be treated. Below is an example of a synchronisation programme for cows outlined by Doreen on the night.

Doreen Corridan and Morgan Sheehy presenting at the Workshop.

Morgan discussed the nutritional requirements of the dairy cow in early lactation and the importance of having the cow on a rising plane of nutrition heading into the breeding season. He highlighted the fact that in poor weather conditions cow’s will not have a sufficient dry matter intake to support production and body condition gain and the importance of supplementing appropriately to meet her requirements. Below is a table outlining the concentrate requirements of early lactation cows with varying grass intakes and milk yields.

Morgan Sheehy demonstrating Body Condition Scoring with Vincent O’Donovan.