For most commercial suckler herds the target is to get the maximum KG of calf sold per cow per year. This means you are aiming to produce as many calves as possible at the start of the breeding season and rear them all efficiently.
Cow condition and nutrition play a huge role in their fertility and we are happy to work with you and feed companies to get this right. We can body condition score your cows or show you how and when to do it or we can take blood samples to assess mineral status.
We offer Bull Soundness Examinations including semen testing and a physical examination. The sample is collected by electro-ejaculation which is safe and relatively straightforward. Very few bulls are infertile but a large proportion is sub-fertile (approximately 2/10) and using one of these can lead to a longer calving period. We advise that all bulls are fertility tested 6-8 weeks prior to each breeding period in order to pick up any bulls which have become less fertile over time. We also advise that each bull is condition scored and has his feet assessed at least 2 months before he is needed to give time for any remedial action.
Occasionally infectious diseases can affect herd fertility and in some cases, it may take a lot of sampling to find this. Legally you have to report any abortions on your farm to us and we have to inform APHA (formerly DEFRA). They decide whether we need to carry out a Brucella investigation. Whilst Brucellosis is fortunately very rare there are other significant and infectious causes of infertility that may show up. E.g. BVD, Neospora, Leptospirosis, Salmonella, and Campylobacter.