Fertility

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Reproductive failure, is one of the main reasons for culling dairy cows and for reducing the average number of milking lactations. On the other hand, improving dairy cow fertility is a proven way to increase milk yields and reduce culling rates.

 

An economic analysis of dairy cow reproduction shows that optimal profitability is achieved between 4 and 6 lactations. Improving fertility and reducing calving intervals results in higher profitability, as the time between the lactation peaks is reduced. The number of calves born per year is increased and replacement rates are lowered.

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Factors influencing fertility

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Cow comfort, health status and energy balance are crucial for good fertility. Most problems are linked to the peripartum period when cows are faced with high stress, alongside the risk of infectious and metabolic diseases. Problems during the transition period, such as negative energy balance, subclinical and clinical ketosis, systemic inflammation, and loss of body condition, are directly associated with reproductive performance. Good fertility is achieved with good quality, healthy oocytes that are able to ovulate at the right moment and produce strong enough signals to provoke estrus. Poor quality dominant follicles, however, are unable to send strong enough signals to provoke estrus and fertilisation. Even if they become fertilised by using estrus synchronisation protocols, embryo quality will be poor and invariably result in embryonic mortality.

Focusing on the transition period to improve reproductive performance

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• Good nutrition that provides enough energy to support milk production and prevent the loss of body condition
• Comfort around calving with minimal movement between groups and enough feeding space to allow cows to eat without queuing and waiting
• Prevention of subclinical ketosis and post calving inflammation, which have direct negative effects on oocyte quality.

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Adding Actisaf®, yeast probiotic to the diet of transition cows

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• Stabilise rumen condition to reduce cow stress during dietary transition
• Prevent the risk of ruminal acidosis and improves diet energy through better fibre digestion, delivering more energy, as needed for good fertility
• Reduce the impact of post-calving inflammation and negative energy balance by stabilising gut health and integrity
• Improve reproductive performance and milk production in the long-term

 

Actisaf® improves reproductive parameters in the long-term when supplemented to the whole herd during the entire lactation.

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