The gold standard for monitoring reproduction in heifers, just as in cows, is how quickly open heifers are converted to pregnant heifers, noted John Lee, managing veterinarian, Dairy Veterinary Technical Services for Zoetis, at the 2012 Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council’s (DCRC) Annual Meeting.

He outlined five steps producers can take to improve heifer pregnancy rates:

  • Move heifers to the breeding pen on time. Move animals as they reach height and weight targets.
  • Use prostaglandin. Administer on the day of movement to the A.I. pen and again 10 to 12 days later for heifers not yet inseminated.
  • Make sure all heifers are inseminated shortly after movement to the breeding pen. Check heifers not inseminated by 28 days in the A.I. pen for breeding soundness.
    Conduct routine pregnancy checks. Identify pregnant females in a timely fashion and move them out of the breeding pen.
  • Act on open heifers. Enroll open heifers in breeding programs or remove them from the herd.

Read more from the latest DCRC newsletter here