10 May 2020

Pregnancy Diagnosis in Dairy Herds

Pregnancy Diagnosis in Dairy Herds By Bernadette Crayston, CIS Area Manager

With government guidelines related to social distancing impacting visits by vets and advisors, it is important to remain focussed on herd health and the timely pregnancy diagnosis (PD) of dairy cows. With conception rates regularly below 50%, it is important to recognise non-pregnant cows as early as possible and one method is to test through regular milk samples.

Milk pregnancy testing helps dairy farms shorten the calving interval and reduce the number of days that cows are open.  Open cows can have a major impact on profitability. Research has indicated that the average cost per open cow is £4.50 per day. These costs include the value of the milk the cow would have produced, the value of her calf, and other relevant factors. Therefore, if one cow stays open 20 days longer than expected, the farmer loses £90 on that single cow. Considering a 100-cow dairy farm, this effect can have a tremendous impact and can reduce profitability by as much as £9,000.

The CIS PregCheck service helps you manage the reproductive cycle of your herd. From timely breeding to pregnancy confirmation to successful calving – it is a key component on today’s dairy farms.  It can help you get herds below the national calving index of 420 days.

The milk pregnancy test is non-invasive and hassle-free by testing samples from milk recording.  Milk samples are tested at the CIS Laboratory in Telford, with testing based on ELISA technology, which detects the presence of Pregnancy Associated Glycoproteins (PAGs) in the sample. It has a 98% level of accuracy. The CIS PregCheck service is offered without any contracts keeping it simple to use and you can access results on a secure online portal or app.