Part of the conditioning process also includes the health status of the animal. We will access your cattle for consideration of Vitamin & Mineral deficiences. This may be evindent in some districts dependant on soils, pasture etc.
In some instances, random blood tests on some cattle may be beneficial on accessing any deficiencies.
Cattle will also be viewed for parasitic infection and whether we consider animals are required to be drenched before consideration for use as donors or joined.
In our assesment we may recomend the use of some Minerals, Vitamins, Drenches or practices to remedy cattle health deficiences.
Cattle temperament plays an important role in fertility being able to successfully join or program an animal for an embryo flush.
We like to be able to move confidently amonst your cattle without them being agitated or running away to the furtherest corner in the paddock.
Likewise, we do not want to have to run for the nearest protection from a raging animal.
We also review the confidence of staff, including managment their skills in being able handle cattle in a calming successful manner.
Our assesment also looks at the use of dogs on farm their aggressiveness to cattle, the use of prodders canes in yards, all of which can have a detrimental affect on cattle temperament.
FEED & FODDER
Probably one of the most important factors for the fertility of cattle is the feed fodder available to them before after joining or during an Embryo Donor program.
We will inspect your pasture assessing its quality, whether it is old pasture, a weed mat is evident, infestation of poor quality grasses weeds. Or alternatively are the pastures regularly renovated, good quality Rye Clover grasses.
What sort of hay is available, made on farm or brought in off farm, what is its nutritional value ?
Is Silage part of the cattles diet, again what is its quality & nutritional value?
Are grain mineral supplements available to cattle leading upto joining or an Embryo program?
What is the make up of any supplement feed, is a ration analysis available ? Experience with various supplement mixes have a direct affect on the fertility of cattle. Is the mix high in Protein or Energy? Does it contain Urea? Is there trace elements available in the mix?
These are only a few items that are considered when discussing the ration analysis.
Are specific feeding regimes in place prior to joining cattle or running an Embryo program.
We look at timing of feed
whether grass is available solely or is a special timing of feeding supplements in place.
Are cattle fed grain religliously morning & night?
Does the farmer have in place a rising plane of feed strategy?
These are specific items to consider especially when completing an Embryo program as we have proven it does have an affect on cattle fertility.
Whilst this area is not one that has a bearing on cattle fertility, it does have a direct affect on the quality & quantity of embryos if completing an Embryo Program or on the other hand, whether a cow is likely to get pregnant when inseminated.
How do you monitor heats?
Is tail paint used, Kmar heat pads or similar products utilised or are computer electronic heat devices in place?
How often do you check your cattle for standing heat?
Do you check before going to bed & first thing when you get up ?
Do you monitor heats hourly noting specific times when cows come into season or do you rely on modern technology to print out when standing heats occurred?
Timing of the first standing heat of a cow plays an intregal part of the timing of insemination which in turn has a major bearing on the fertilization of embryos when completeing an Embryo Program and whether a cow is likely to get pregnant or not.
DONOR/ RECIPIENT CONDITIONING
We will inspect your cattle on farm to access their body condition and capability of being successful donors or acceptable for joining.
From our experience, females in good condition are far more receptive to being successful donors or recipients for embryo implant or artificial insemination.
Observations assesments regarding condition suggested recomendations are completed in our report.
Is there a strategic plan in place as to when cattle are inseminated?
How many times do you inseminate your cattle?
If multiple inseminations are used, what is the timing of the first & second AI's. Who does the inseminations and are they qualified?
Do they have much experience? When inseminating do they consider the placement of semen in the uterus? What is the qulatity of semen used ?
Is it Sexed Semen?
Can it be tested under a microscope for viability?
These are all areas we consider in our visitation and note in our report.
Facilities - Sheds, Yards, Laneways, Crush
Given many farms have to employ the services of specialists for Artificial Insemination Programs, Embryo Transfers Programs, and general Veterinary work, the state & quality of facilities is also considered during our on farm inspection.
We look at:
The construction of laneways & if they are likely to have any affect on cattle's feet, remembering any health issue can have an affect on cattle's fertility.
The layout of stock yards, what they are constructed of, stone or concrete & whether roofed or open are also considered.
Where is the cattle crush or bail head located and does it restrain the animal adequately?
Is it undercover or in the open air?
Is there a work area with a bench or table available for contractors ?
These are some of the areas we consider when visiting a clients property & the facilities that are available for use.