Improve cycling, tighten calving pattern and more milk with AHV Proactive Fertility Protocol
Fertility is very important in our New Zealand pasture based dairy system as over 80% of the dairy herd is spring calving to align start of milk production with grass growth. Empty cows are the number one reason for culling in New Zealand. Poor fertility is a drain on farm profitability as a replacement costs $1300-1400, and late calvers lose milk production through a shorter lactation. Getting cows in calf early to AB will also support genetic gain in your herd. 80-90% of cows have an infected uterus after calving. 40-50% of these cows develop sub-clinical uterine inflammation and 8% of these cows develop clinical uterine inflammation. Cows with uterine health challenges spend energy fighting these challenges instead of the energy going into milk production. In addition, they are not optimally preparing for their next pregnancy.
AHV Fertility Protocol
AHV provides farmers with modern next-generation animal health solutions in the form of feed supplements based on Quorum Sensing science: how bacteria communicate and collaborate. By interrupting bacteria to work together, AHV solutions support a cow through the challenges in her lactation. AHV’s Fertility Protocol includes an AHV Opti bolus and AHV Milk Start Paste, both applied orally, as soon as possible after calving These products together support the uterus’ recovery post-calving, set the cow up for her next pregnancy and a great start to lactation, energy wise. Overseas data have shown improved milk production in the first 21 days of lactation, reduced uterine health challenges and a 3% higher conception rate.
On a Cambridge farm, 105 healthy Holstein Friesian cows received the AHV Fertility Protocol as soon as possible after calving and 100 ‘matched ‘ cows (on age and production) did not receive anything. Cows with difficult calving or health challenges were excluded from the programme.
Cows who received the AHV Fertility Protocol cycled earlier, got in calf earlier and late calvers had a lower empty rate when compared to control.
The data shows that AHV cows started cycling 36 days on average post-calving versus 72 days post calving for the control group (Figure 1). 57% of AHV cows had 3 or 4 heats prior to the start of calving versus 0% for control cows (1 or 2 heats prior to start of mating only). Of the AHV group, 9/116 cows (7.8%) did not cycle prior to the start of mating versus 85/111 (76.6%). Getting cows cycling and pregnant earlier means more milk in the following lactation .
This herd began mating on 11 October. 85/109 (78%) AHV cows got pregnant in the first two weeks of mating versus 52/102 (51%) of control cows. This means more milk in this lactation and a more compact calving pattern for next season.
Late calving cows (after 19 August) showed an 11% lower empty rate compared to control cows (24% versus 35%). This can be of benefit to farmers who would like to have a more compact calving pattern. Overall, both AHV and control cows had an 18% empty rate.
Customer data across New Zealand confirm this trend with overall empty rate reduced and/or late calvers showing similar empty rate as the overall herd (ie reduced empty rate compared to control late calving cows that do not receive AHV solutions). In addition, they see significantly fewer cows with metabolic and uterine health challenges, cows keeping their body condition better at the start of lactation and more milk.,
The Opti bolus can also be given to noncycling cows, approx. 25-40% of these cows will come into heat within a week. When a Booster bolus (which supports energy levels of the cow) is added to an AHV Opti bolus for noncycling cows, this percentage increases to well over 50%. This AHV solution is faster, cheaper, less invasive and less labour intensive compared to more traditional synchronisation methods.
Overall pregnancy rate late calvers: 11% higher for AHV
35% not pregnant in control group, 24% not pregnant in AHV group:
AHV (Animal Health Vision) is the global leader in quorum sensing-powered animal health solutions and advisory services, giving #PowerToTheFarmer to optimise their animal health. Since opening in New Zealand February 2022, AHV has tailored a range of protocols to New Zealand farming challenges to power herd longevity, productivity and profitability. Reach out to your local Territory Manager or call AHV New Zealand at 0800 424 869 to learn more about how AHV can support your farm.
These products are mentioned:
AHV Opti Bolus
AHV Milk Start Paste
Get in touch!
Would you like to be visited by an Territory Manager to discuss the health challenges on your farm together? Our AHV Territory Manager will be happy to visit you to jointly assess the health of your cows and come up with appropriate farm-specific advice.
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