Non-cycling cows are cows that have not yet shown a heat at the planned start of mating. They occur for a wide variety of reasons including low body condition, endometritis, lameness etc. Non-cycling cows are a real frustration to the dairy farmer when it comes to achieving a tight calving spread and getting cows to calve early. We can influence them in a number of ways e.g. better feeding, once a day milking, drench treatments for first calvers and light cows, metrichecking etc. But even after doing all this we may still have a percentage of the herd not cycling at the planned start of mating.
The greatest gains are made from treating these cows early. To know which cows in the herd haven’t cycled we need to tail paint 35 days from the planned start of mating. By doing this we can draft off any cows that have been calved for more than 3 weeks but not yet shown a heat. These cows are then examined by your vet and treated depending on what is determined to be best. The most benefit is gained from treating non-cyclers 10 days prior to the planned start of mating.
Studies from New Zealand have shown by using non-cycling treatment 10 days prior to the planned start of mating that conception can be advanced by 10-16 days. This equates to a cow that calves earlier so will have more days in milk for the herd. The studies showed that a nett return of $80 per cow would be achieved. The return was positive over a wide range of milk payments and responses to treatment. The longer non-cycling treatments are left the less economic it becomes so get that tail paint out, identify your non-cyclers early, and give us a call to have look at them.