Finding And Curing More Infected Cows
August 2023

Finding and curing more infected cows

Every time a cow calves she’s at risk of getting an infection in her uterus and not getting in calf. NZ studies show that 20% of cows are still infected 2-4 weeks after calving.

If she has an assisted calving, retained cleanings, twins or milk fever she’s most at risk.  We call these cows “at risk cows”.  However 70% of infected cows are not “at risk cows’ but cows with no problems at calving that don’t clear the infection.

Many of these cows seem to cure but instead the infection becomes trapped in front of a closed cervix.  At AB the sperm meets the egg – and with pus present the cow wont get in calf. We see reduced conception rates, with cows taking 2-3 weeks longer to get in calf and a 25% lower four week pregnancy rate and higher empty rates.

To help diagnose this problem some kiwi ingenuity came into play and the Metrichecker was born.

The usual practice was to Metricheck the whole herd four weeks prior to PSM (when Tail painting premating) and treat cows with any pus with Metriclean, a non milk withholding antibiotic.  This will reduce an infected cow’s time to conception by 13 days, improved six week in-calf rate by 17% and improve in-calf and empty rates.

In 2015, a 15,000 cow trial in Reporoa showed that finding and treating infected cows within 28 days after calving improved the six week in calf rate of infected cows by a further 10% compared to later treatment and improved their empty rates by 3%

The reason for this is that the longer we leave infected cows, the infection and pus becomes ‘hidden” in the uterus as the cervix closes making those cows impossible to diagnose with the metrichecker

The current focus is to metricheck all cows between 2-4 weeks calved, in batches.

Two to three times return on investment has been shown in three separate NZ studies, so it’s a good opportunity to double your money.  

Vetora are currently offering a one off fee to metricheck your herd in batches (as long as it’s not during milking).

Having dirty cows in the herd is an unavoidable problem. Speak to us about identifying and treating these cows earlier to improve your herd’s reproductive performance and your bottom line.