Feeding a mix of B vitamins, E vitamins and omega-3 oils has enabled one Cheshire dairy unit to improve conception to first service by 20%, leading to 60% of cows holding to first service.

Speaking at the launch of Kelvin Cave’s new Opti-Mate product, Phil Latham said using the feed additive had resulted in better heat detection, improved submission rates and reduced embryo loss.

“We now have no trouble spotting heats, with large numbers of cows actually showing true standing heats,” he explained.

Kelvin Cave’s Andy Strzelecki said that in studies of more than 3000 cows the product had been shown to take about 15 days off the average calving interval and increased average in peak yield by about two litres.

He recommends feeding it for 100-120 days from calving, which will cost about 32-36/cow.

“But it should save about 1p/litre in production costs.”