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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Optimizing Reproductive Performance: Management Practices Can Assist in Shortening the Postpartum Interval

Authors
item Funston, R - MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY
item GEARY, THOMAS

Submitted to: Montana Farmer
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2000
Publication Date: April 1, 2000
Citation: FUNSTON, R.N., GEARY, T.W. OPTIMIZING REPRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE: MANAGEMENT PRACTICES CAN ASSIST IN SHORTENING THE POSTPARTUM INTERVAL. MONTANA FARMER. 2000. p. WB10-13.

Interpretive Summary: The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the importance of proper development and management of the first calf heifer to optimize her chances of rebreeding. Breeding heifers to calve 20 to 30 days ahead of the cows allows additional time for the heifer to recover from her period of anestrus before the start of the breeding season. A sound herd health program is essential and it is important to monitor calving to provide assistance in a timely manner. Heifers should receive a higher plane of nutrition during the last trimester of pregnancy through the breeding season and calve with a body condition score of 5 or 6. Use of ionophores has resulted in increased feed efficiency and has shortened the postpartum interval. Strategies including the use of progestins, GnRH, 48-hr calf removal and bull exposure are also discussed to shorten the postpartum interval.

Technical Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the importance of proper development and management of the first calf heifer to optimize her chances of rebreeding. Breeding heifers to calve 20 to 30 days ahead of the cows allows additional time for the heifer to recover from her period of anestrus before the start of the breeding season. A sound herd health program is essential and it is important to monitor calving to provide assistance in a timely manner. Heifers should receive a higher plane of nutrition during the last trimester of pregnancy through the breeding season and calve with a body condition score of 5 or 6. Use of ionophores has resulted in increased feed efficiency and has shortened the postpartum interval. Strategies including the use of progestins, GnRH, 48-hr calf removal and bull exposure are also discussed to shorten the postpartum interval.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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