Matamata Veterinary Services | Latest News

Latest News

July 10, 2019

Treat dirty cows early to maximise your pregnancy rates. Metrichecking cows prior to mating is a well-established practice across the country, but in the last 3 years we have seen a change in the timing of Metrichecking and with it, a lift in its effectiveness.

By more effectively treating dirty (endometritis) cows sooner, we give those cows more time to recover prior to the start of mating and proactively reduce non-cycler numbers in the herd.

Key points are:

  • Treating a ‘dirty’ cow improves the 6-week In-Calf Rate (ICR) of the dirty cows by 10-15%
  • Only a third of dirty cows were found in ‘at-risk cows’
  • Treating cows 8 days to 4 weeks post calving ensures cows have the best possible chance of being detected if dirty. It also gives us the opportunity to get these cows cycling again as soon as possible
  • Very few dirty cows truly self cure with time. They just get harder to detect

There are 3 approaches to metrichecking that we have found to be effective:

1. Gold Standard – Fortnightly metrichecking of cows calved at least 8 days (requires regular drafting of animals to do efficiently. Great if you have a Pro-track or similar system). Ensures cows receive treatment as early as possible.

2. Silver standard – Identify the cows calving in the first 2-3 weeks of calving, then metrichecking these animals 8 to 10 days later. Typically this will mean the approximately half the herd will have been checked. A follow up metricheck of the later calvers 3 weeks prior to the start of mating should see 90% of cows checked very close to ideal timing. When combined with tail painting of the later calvers, this system can enable the two metrichecking jobs to be done with minimal drafting required.

3. Whole herd metricheck – If you can only fit in one metricheck then the traditional recommendation of approximately 3 weeks before PSM means that most of your cows will be calved and the cows treated should have had a chance to cure before you are too far into mating. This method can mean that a lot of dirty cows are not detected as the infection has been ‘walled-off’ before the metrichecking, or that the cow does not have sufficient time to recover prior to PSM.

Our experience with doing the gold and silver standards above is that we find more cases of metritis, which is great as it means we can make an effective intervention on more cows and give those cows a far better chance of cycling prior to PSM. Therefore less non-cyclers, better conception rates and ultimately less empty cows.

Call us to arrange a Free Repro Ready Consult at the clinic and we can come up with a plan that suits you and your farm.