Minerals = critical, both the macro (calcium, magnesium, phosphate) and trace (selenium, copper, cobalt, iodine). Get some bloods done on your fresh calvers if you are having downer cows so we can help tailor your prevention plan.
Continue to RMTtest cows to clear them from the colostrum cows – it’s easier to keep a lid on the SCC now than having to find the problem in the herd.
Although we are in the middle of calving, now is a good time to start thinking about the plan to get them back in calf – get in touch if you’d like a repro consult.
Metrichecking is starting too – cows should be at least 10 days calved. Checking the herd in 2-week batches is often the best way to go, as the earlier we intervene, the better the reproductive outcomes.
Tailpaint on 35 days before planned start of mating for those premating heats.
Bloat – yes, it’s early but prevention is better than cure. If you’re using Rumenox there will be a production benefit and ketosis reduction too – important for early season gains.
BVD booster is due before mating – especially if they are mixing with animals from other properties and your herd has a low BVD exposure on the bulk milk test.
Worms continue to be a problem with a warm wet winter and few frosts.
Plan the bull numbers – 1 per 15-20 is ideal.
If they are at or ahead of their growth rate targets at 12 months, a recent NZ study has shown that they will produce more milk for at least the first 3 seasons compared to those that were underweight.
Get calf scours sampled and tested early on, to enable the best treatment. Rotavirus and Cryptosporidium are very common causes in calves under four weeks old and these bugs will not respond to antibiotics.
First milking colostrum should be over 22% on the BRIX refractometer to show it has enough of the protective antibodies in it for the calves first feed (in the first 12 hours).
Remember the Clostridial vaccine (5 in 1 or 10 in 1, or 7 in 1 with lepto) at disbudding + follow up 4 – 6 weeks later.