Management Practices Impact Fertility

Managing a dairy comes with its challenges. There are moving parts and pieces that an outsider looking in would not even notice. Others do not see the cow management decisions that it takes to operate a profitable dairy. They only see your outputs in the form of milk, mostly. Milk production hinges on getting cows pregnant and back into peak milk production. Thus, dairy cattle fertility must be a key focus.  

It is imperative to remember nearly every cow management decision you make can influence reproductive performance and ultimately, fertility! 

Whether we want to admit it or not, human decisions have an impact on cows that aren’t able to become pregnant and get categorized as “hard breeders.” Our first source to blame for cows not getting pregnant is the A.I. program. However, reviewing your management decision could identify other reasons why you see infertile cows. Consider the following: Are any of these occurring in your herd? 

Five ways you may be creating infertile cows 

  • Ignoring fertility genetics 
  • Maintaining maternity pen and reproductive tract health 
  • Utilizing an incorrect beef-on-dairy program 
  • Controlling body condition and diet
  • Overlooking optimal health and comfort of your herd

If you answered yes to any of the above, it does not have to be all doom and gloom. A partner like ABS has programs to help you make the right management decisions when considering fertility. Our bread and butter is assessing your herd’s genetic potential with a genetic audit, implementing beef on dairy with our Beef InFocus program, promoting reproductive health, encouraging cow comfort through Uddercare, and gauging cow condition for breeding. Our mission is to help you profit from genetic progress by creating healthy, productive, and profitable dairy cows.  

In summary, the decisions your team makes influences the fertility of your herd. Having strong management practices that promote fertility and positive reproductive health is key on a dairy. Infertile cows become costly to a dairy, and we all know too well that a fertility problem lingers far longer than what we see today.   

Learn more about management practices creating infertile cows by reading our article originally published in Progressive Dairy. 

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