Essential oils will help fertility

You will need fresh calved cows to make the most of improving milk prices, and this means you need to focus on fertility now, according to David Turnbull from UFAC UK.

Essential oils will help fertility

You will need fresh calved cows to make the most of improving milk prices, and this means you need to focus on fertility now, according to David Turnbull from UFAC UK.

“You want the herd to be firing on all cylinders when prices start to pick up so you need to make sure they are getting in calf quickly,” David comments. “We know that many cows hold to service initially but fail to conceive, leading to extended calving intervals and long inter- service intervals.

“The problem is one of increased embryo loss with embryos failing to implant in the uterus. Supplementing the diet with essential fatty acids from marine sources is proven to reduce embryo loss and increase pregnancy rates.”

David explains that the long chain omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA which are found in high quantities in marine oil increase the production of progesterone, the hormone responsible for embryo implantation. This increases the number of embryos that successfully implant, reducing embryo loss, increasing the number of cows getting in calf and in so doing reducing semen costs. By increasing progesterone levels they also encourage stronger bulling behaviour, making heat detection more effective.

“There are many sources of omega-3 oils on the market but to get the best results you need to make sure you feed them from fish oils and not from plant sources such as linseed. The research clearly shows that marine- derived omega-3s are used more effectively by dairy cows.
“Adding rumen inert fish oils to your diets now can have a big impact on fertility and that will be very good news as and when prices rise again.”

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