31 March 2000

Check on condition

FORGET fancy tests to improve fertility results in milking cows, monitor condition scores instead.

"Then when serving cows from 50 days after calving you can check they are putting weight on, so their oestrous cycles should be normal and they are more likely to get back in calf," said the Nottingham Fertility Groups George Mann.

His recent study blood testing for beta-hydroxybutyl levels, showed there was a difference between animals with good and poor fertility. But that difference was not enough to use the test as a fertility monitoring service, added Dr Mann. He believed condition scoring was more useful, combined with progesterone testing for individual problem cows. &#42