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If you want more choice in your business, good money management is the bottom line. Explore options to meet your goals, understand environmental requirements, and how to influence what is happening in your region. The People section shows you how to recruit quality staff, be a better manager, work within the law, grow your people and much more. Matching feed supply and demand is an underpinning principle of pasture-based dairy farming in New Zealand.
Animal management is a critical component of farm profitability and sustainability. From genetics to herd management and more, this section covers topics that will help guide your decisions. Create an attractive workplace for staff and maximise time out in the paddock for cows by milking efficiently. Read the latest DairyNZ news here. This section includes media releases, advisories and articles from our publications Inside Dairy and Technical Series.
From research and the services we provide, to education, policy and the Dairy Industry Strategy, there's so much to discover in this section. Good bull management means running adequate s of bulls with the herd, reducing their stress, and handling bulls to minimise the risk of injury to people and animals. Having enough bulls when cows are likely to be on heat is important in ensuring good reproductive performance. The of bulls required will depend on the of cows or yearling heifers likely to come on heat while the bulls are with the group.
For a full bull rotation during mating, the total of bulls required is double the s in the table above. Run one yearling bull per 20 yearling heifers at all times to cover the poorer performance of yearling bulls. Ensure there are always at least two sexually active bulls running with each mob throughout the mating period. Bulls are typically run with yearling heifers on an all-in basis. You may want a few extra bulls around in case any need to be replaced. The ratio should be about one bull to heifers. If you are using heat synchrony, and returns will occur when bulls are running, you need to estimate the minimum of bulls running with cattle during this period using one bull per 10 non-pregnant cows.
Alternatively, recommence heat detection and AB for 3 or 4 days, starting 19 days after the ly synchronised inseminations. To make sure bulls are sexually mature and able to serve, bulls need to be well grown. To maintain the health of bulls and all other animals, ensure that bulls receive the same vaccination programme as the heifers and cows. Develop a drenching programme with your vet as well. Bulls need to be kept in good body condition, particularly in the 3 months prior to their mating start date. Several weeks before the bulls will be used, make any required diet changes to ensure bulls are not too fat or too thin.
They should be in body condition score 4. Body condition score bulls well before mating to give you time to make diet changes. Consider veterinary examination of bulls at least a month before the bulls start work. Examinations range from a simple physical exam, to a serving ability test, or a full assessment of semen quality. Good bull management will ensure bulls are well adjusted to their environment before mating and have been through a biosecurity quarantine. Bulls should be moved to the farm between two to three months and ten days before they are required for work.
Split the bulls into teams for rotating half resting, half working to reduce fighting. When bulls are running with the herd, you can take several steps to increase bull activity and reduce health risks. In many herds, the period following the first 6 weeks of mating reflects the bull mating period. Herd reproductive performance during this time is an indicator of bull performance. By assessing performance at this time, you may be alerted that changes to bull management may be required.
Below is the expected not-in-calf rate based on a given 6-week in-calf rate and length of mating. Total weeks of mating AB period plus bull mating period. DairyNz Business Business If you want more choice in your business, good money management is the bottom line. Back Business Setting up for success Back Setting up for success Businesses need Advice and support Five business principles to get ahead Do your homework Back Do your homework Farm owners Sharemilking and contract milking arrangements. Back Planning Purpose, vision, values and guiding principles Assessing your current situation Back Assessing your current situation Whole Farm Assessment.
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Back Forages for reduced nitrate leaching programme Monitor Farms. Back Advocacy and policy DairyNZ submissions. Back Sponsorship Sponsorship application. Search the website Search. Bull management. The right of bulls Using sufficient bull power Having enough bulls when cows are likely to be on heat is important in ensuring good reproductive performance.
Bull power for yearling heifers Run one yearling bull per 20 yearling heifers at all times to cover the poorer performance of yearling bulls. Managing return heats after a synchrony treatment If you are using heat synchrony, and returns will occur when bulls are running, you need to estimate the minimum of bulls running with cattle during this period using one bull per 10 non-pregnant cows. Bull selection To make sure bulls are sexually mature and able to serve, bulls need to be well grown.
Considerations when choosing bulls. Select bulls from a bull rearer or leasing service with a reputation of growing and delivering healthy bulls. Query what disease exposure bulls may have had like Thieleria or BVD. Insist on bulls certified fully vaccinated for leptospirosis and BVD. They must have been vaccinated twice initially, 4 weeks apart and then boosted with a single shot annually for each of these diseases. Use bulls that are no more than 3 years old. Older bulls can be temperamental, difficult to manage and are more likely to have injuries to the penis, back or legs.
They increase the risk of injury to both the cattle and to the people working with them. Choose virgin bulls whenever possible as they are less likely to introduce venereal diseases to the herd; but avoid using bulls that are less than 15 months old. If using non-virgin bulls, discuss testing for the venereal diseases, Trichomoniasis and Campylobacter with your vet.
Use bulls that are likely to minimise the of calvings requiring assistance, especially with the heifers. Select bulls ideally from the same mob. This will reduce fighting when they are with the herd. Otherwise the bulls need to arrive earlier to establish their social order well before mating start date. Exclude fully horned bulls and those with deformed feet. Select bulls of similar size to the cows or heifers to be mated.
If bulls are substantially heavier than the cows or heifers e. Observe bulls serving tall cows; ensure they are able to serve correctly. Also observe larger bulls serving cows. If the cows collapse under the weight, find lighter bulls. Regularly observe bulls serving to ensure they are serving correctly. Immediately remove bulls that are unable to serve properly and replace them with more capable bulls. Monitor bulls for lameness each day. Remove lame bulls immediately and replace with healthy bulls. If bulls go lame or get sick they will need to be replaced for the rest of mating.
Do not allow bulls to enter the concrete milking yard with the milking herd as concrete can cause excessive hoof wear and lameness. To further reduce the risk of bull lameness and injury to bulls, cows and farm staff — train bulls to remain in the paddock when cows are brought to milkings.
Identify bulls with reflective tape or some other means for easy location of bulls in the dark. It usually takes just two to three days to train bulls to hang back and let the cows go down the race. In larger herds, there may be too many bulls hiding among too many cows to draft out in the paddock or race. The only alternative is to draft at the dairy shed.
In this case, allow for extra bulls to replace those who go lame or stop cows moving on the race. If applicable, ensure bulls do not gain access to concentrate rations. This can disrupt rumen function, causing sickness and reduced fertility. More info.I need two bulls
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