Understanding underperformance in dairy herd Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Understanding underperformance in dairy herd Deck (34):

Define KPI

Key Performance indicator


What objectives can be used to investigate dairy herd performance?

- replacement heifer rearing
- calving
- care of young calf
- fertility
- culling
- low milk yields


Outline aims for heifers at service

- aim to calve at 24 months
- service at 15 months, weight 375kg, height 132cm


Outline calving score

0 no hand touches calf
1 hand touches but no rope
2 rope is used, gentle pull
3 rope is used and hard pull
4 caesarian
* AIM for score 3 and 4


What is life birth rate and aims for this?

= % calves born which are alive and survive for 24 hours
- COW: 97%
- HEIFER: 92%


What to analyse in calving records?

- consider cows and heifers separately
- analyse by bull/sire
- analyse by sex of calf
- analyse by operator


How long can you leave a cow/heifer that is straining?

- COW 1 hour
- HEIFER 1.5 hours


Outline care of calf at birth?

- immediately dip navel
- 7% iodine and totally immerse
- repeat after 24 hours
- absorption better when suckled from dam or consumed in dam's presence
- 6L colostrum in 12 hours (2L in 1 hour, 2L within 6h, 2L within next 6 hours)


Outline storage of colostrum

- keep at 4 degrees
- freeze immediately in a packet with high surface area to volume ration, plastic pocket
- thaw at 37 degrees


How to monitor colostrum quality?

- TP (lab, satisfactory is 55g/L or 5.5g/dl)
- zinc sulphate turbidity test (VLA)
- blood sample healthy calves at 2-7 days
- clotted red tube for serum
- send to lab or use refractometer


What determines calf milk replacer (CMR) feeding success?

- how it is prepared
- how much is fed (litres, kg powder, /day or /feed, what concentration is fed)


How do you prepare CMR properly?

- hygiene essential
- 125g/L, 2 litres BID (i.e. 12.5%, common %)
- 150g/L, 2.5 litres BID (i.e. 15%)


Describe concentrate feeding

- maximise calf concentrate intake by time of weaning
- should be eating at least 1 kg of concentrate/day, then can wean
- weaning must not be a time where calves are starved into eating concentrate


Target and interference for calving index

- target 365d
- interference >380 days


Target and interferenec for earliest service date (ESD)

- target 50d
- interfere


Target and interference for calving - 1st conception interval

- target 65d
- interference >75 days


Target and interference for calving - conception interval

- target 85 days
- interference >95 days


Target conception rate -first servie



Target conception rate - all services



Aim 120 day in calf rate

& cows pregnant at 120d post-calving (aim >64%)


Aim 210 day not in calf rate

% cows not pregnant 210d post-calving (aim


Define longevity

length of time a cow spends in a herd based on number of lactations (average is 3 lactations)


What is the biggest cull loss?

the heifer which leaves the herd before the end of its first lactation


How to analyse culls

- reason
- lactation/age
- days in milk


How to investigate low milk yield?

- compare against expectation
- always consider with fat% and protein%
- fat acidosis - SARA
- protein (long-term energy deficiency)


Howto analyse feed?

- sufficient trough space
- food palatable
- silage face management
- is it 'heating' when fed


What is the minimum space allowances per calf if

The legal requirement is for 1.5m2 minimum area per calf. The minimum legal stocking density remains the same up until the calves are 150kg, but the recommended and preferred area increases such that it is recommended that calves of 45kg or less have 2m2, those from 45-100kg have a recommended area of 3m2 per calf and those of 100-150kg have a recommended area of 4m2 per calf.


Minimum space allowances per calf 150-200kg (in m2)

Between 150-100kg minimum legal area is 2m2 per calf, recommended is 5m2 per calf at this size.


Minimum space allowances per calf if 200kg (in m2)

Minimum legal requirement to give the calf 3m2per animal, the recommended space allowance is actually 6m2 per animal


How to work out stocking densities in buildings?

use indoor areas as this is where animals will huddle if it is raining or cold.


Can calves how too low a stocking density?

Yes - Remember that understocking is also an issue as this will mean that you get cold calves and where a shed relies on hear from the animals for airflow, ventilation may be insufficient due to understocking.


Are cubicles for cows measuring 0.9*1.89 sufficient?

probably sufficient for animals of just under 300kg. They are probably too small for the animals once they reach optimum service weight of 400kg. Cubicle training beneficial but cubicles shouldn’t be too small/big. Aim to have 10% cubicles free at any one time.


What % cubicles should be free at a given point?



At what point is FPT a herd problem?

if >33% calves have TSP