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Criteria of culling cows and heifers

Today we speak about criteria of culling cows and heifers. This article just  about “planned” rejecting and “perfect“ structure which we want to have for productive cattle and reasons why productive cattle should be culled. This topic is important, but unpleasant, and at the same time to achieve high goals it is necessary to solve this question professionally.

Firstly we need to speak about main criteria for heifers culling rejecting:

  • heifers which have or have had respiratory diseases are no longer inseminated and according to this they do not become cows. Even if the heifer has already “coughed”, it is also can not be pregnant, that is, on the principle of “the heifer coughed – she must to go” and you must to understand this when you bought heifers;

The main points are:

  • age of heifer , if she don’t pregnant till 17 mouths, she don’t must be inseminated no longer (heifer can be inseminated only between 13-16 months);
  • if she did not become pregnant during four insemination’s,
  • heifers with diseased limbs are also don’t must be inseminated;

Information concerning cows:

  • respiratory disease in the first half of lactation, such a cow is not treated, she must be immediately culled;
  • 7 unsuccessful (ineffective) insemination’s, assign the status of “do not inseminate” and continue to milk her to the”point 0″ – this is the point at which income from the sale of milk covers the costs of her feeding;
  • 300 days of lactation and the cow is not pregnant (the reason for non-pregnancy is not important here), such a cow is assigned the status of “do not inseminate” and milked as in the previous paragraph;
  • 3 (three) mastitis during lactation (regardless of the pathogen and no matter which quarter of the udder) and the cow is not pregnant. If it turns out that the cow is pregnant, in this case the main criterion will be the causative agent of mastitis (see next paragraph);
  • cows suffering from mastitis caused by pathogens from the “black list”, they are unfortunately also not treated, and immediately removed from the farm;
  • 2 abortions and already 260 days in milking, also no longer insemination and continue milking to the”point 0″;
  • cows with size and shape of the udder which don’t meet the requirements accepted by the company also don’t must be inseminated, but you need to continue milking to the”point 0″;
  • aggressive cows,especially cows that have “bad discipline” and threaten another cows (we have a lot of examples in which removing its the best solution);
  • cows that have relapsed with endotoxemia and survived must be also culled;
  • “low productivity” consist of several criteria, due to obligatory conditions:

І) productivity first 10 days of lactation (in the new born period);

ІІ) productivity of the cow at the peak of lactation. Each company will have its own parameters, but this is a very important indicator that can predict further productivity and save time and money for the insemination process;

  • injuries are assessed separately on a checklist to understand the causes of this;

Every company must have compulsory analytic for understanding the reasons for culling and the percent of culling cows (yearly)  its not so strong indicator that can be informative, because only structure of the reasons and period of lactation before culling is important, only this information can be valuable.

But you don’t must to be worried about culling, you just need to have right structure. A lot of successful and efficient farms have 41% of culling and some times even more.

Traditionally in the end of our article must be some special information, so the cows one of the most productive animals which have no age criteria for culling, because even after ten or more calves birth, cows continue to be productive and have good health. Age of the cow does not affect its productivity and we know a lot of cases in which cow gives a lot of milk and also during this period they already can be pregnant.

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