Many factors affect fertility in a herd, these include:

  • Body condition post calving
  • Nutrition
  • Uterine infections
  • Infectious diseases which may cause early embryonic death
  • Immunity
  • Mineral status ( which can affect immunity)
  • Heat detection
  • AI
  • Bull fertility


Nutrition is vitally important for fertility so having cows at optimum nutrition in the period prior to the breeding season is vital.

Good transition cow management is the key, see our nutrition section for more information.

Uterine health

Most cows will have some level of bacterial infection after calving for a short period, but in some this can develop into a longer term infection with more serious consequences for fertility. Identifying these infections early and treating them appropriately is crucial to uterine health.

A number of conditions and events increase the cow’s risk of uterine infection:

  • Having twins
  • Assistance during calving
  • Milk fever
  • Retained foetal membranes
  • Displaced abomasum
  • Mastitis
  • Ketosis

Cows which have one or more of these risk factors for infection need to be checked in advance of, or early in the breeding season to deal with any issues and ensure her fertility for the coming year.

We provide a range of fertility services:

1. Routine post calving scan / examination

2. Pre-breeding scan to identify problems which can delay oestrus and conception – this is typically done on cows not showing heat within 42 days of calving or at the start of the breeding season on all cows not submitted for AI within the first 3 weeks.

3. Early pregnancy diagnosis – this can be done from 30 days after conception. This can be done early in the season to confirm pregnancy in early serviced cows, giving you the opportunity to identify non-pregnant cows early and re-breed them using fixed time AI with a hormone protocol.

4. Final pregnancy diagnosis – this should be done about one month after the end of the breeding season. This will confirm pregnancy status and stage of pregnancy giving you a guide for timing of drying off and dry cow nutrition. Late calvers and non-pregnant cows can be milked on for longer and be more profitable.

5. Herd problem investigation – a comprehensive investigation of suboptimal fertility performance in a herd can be carried out.

Heat detection

  • Vasectomy of bulls – we will advise you on the type of animal to use and on the timing of the surgery.
  • We provide harnesses and chin-balls for vasectomised bulls.
  • We stock a range of heat detection aids for sale in our shop in Millstreet.

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