BPEX blog

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Tackling the perennial problem of seasonal infertility

We held a meeting on seasonal infertility at Bury St Edmunds last week where we outlined the results of a series of interventions carried out on farm. 

I was really pleased with how well attended our meeting was, with the audience providing some very useful and constructive feedback. A second is being held in the North of England on Tuesday, April 8. The meeting was attended by about 40 people covering producers, allied industry, nutritionists, feed companies and pharmaceutical firms so the whole industry was covered.

The interventions were:
  • Providing shade. Anecdotally it looks favourable and will be continued during the warmer months this year to provide enough information for conclusions to be drawn.
  • Ad –lib feeders. One important result was that body condition scoring proved to be successful and again this has continued on one unit and has been introduced into the quarterly vet visit
  • Feeding dextrose. Again the sample size is so far too small and this will be continuing. However, it did show an improvement in performance and more work will determine if this trend continues.
One of the speakers at the event was consultant Stephen Hall who said to know your FR% you must understand your reservice rate and how these animals are contributing to overall herd performance. And there was a good discussion on areas BPEX might like to look at next which included:
  • We must take the top farms from benchmarking records and understandhow they achieve the best levels of pre-weaning mortality
  • Summer lactation diets
  • Managing a gilt separately through to second farrowing
There were many very positive comments about the workshop as this is a problem from which the industry has always suffered. It is important to try to find ways of reducing the effects and improving efficiency which will have a direct effect on profitability.

For more information about the Northern workshop click here

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