Strategic use of the Alertys Milk Pregnancy Test

Using the Alertys Milk Pregnancy Test to tighten calving periods

One of the benefits of the IDEXX milk pregnancy test is that it is accurate at just 28 days after mating. By taking advantage of early pregnancy testing farmers are able to act early to reduce days open.

Identifying open cows early allows them to be re-inseminated and reduces the time until next pregnancy. Reducing the calving interval (the period of time a cow is open between pregnancies) increases farm productivity as shown in the table below.

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Acting early to re-inseminate open cows may also assist farmers in reducing their not-in-calf rate and reduce the number of cows needing to be carried over or culled as a result.

Strategic use of the test to date pregnancies and estimate dry off dates

The Alertys milk pregnancy test does not date pregnancies. However, pregnancy dating and optimised dry off dates can be estimated when the test is used strategically and in conjunction with accurate mating records. See our Pregnancy Framework for an example of how timing of pregnancy testing in relation to artificial insemination and dates the bull goes in allows conception dates to be sufficiently accurately calculated.

The importance of a pre-dry off pregnancy test

The biggest return on investment from pregnancy testing can be achieved by conducting a pre-dry off pregnancy check. Research has shown that as many as 1 in 4 cows will suffer pregnancy loss from day 28 to calving, with higher pregnancy loss expected earlier in gestation. Checking cows have maintained pregnancies prior to dry off makes strong economic sense.

Costs to consider of drying off cows not in calf

  • No chance of replacement heifer

  • Dry off treatment

  • Labour

  • 60 days loss of production before discovering she is not in calf

  • Potential 9-12 months loss of production if carried over to next calving

  • Potential future loss of production if sold

 

The Alertys Milk Pregnancy Test is a no mess, no stress method of pregnancy detection that reduces the impact of pregnancy detection on the cow. Particularly late in the pregnancy at the time of pre-dry off checking farmers have expressed that it is preferable to test those cows in a hands-off procedure. Even if you prefer to use a vet for initial pregnancy checking it is worth considering supplementing these checks with a pre-dry off Alertys Milk Pregnancy Test.