Dairy Calendar
 

January

  • Consider giving long acting Selenium and Copper bullets to calves

  • Weigh Calves (consider Growright)

  • Continue with your calf drenching programme

  • Calves should start their lepto programme in January or February

  • Cows and heifers will need a lepto booster in the next 1-3 months

  • Book in early pregnancy testing for foetal ageing 12-15 weeks after the PSM

  • Reduced induction allowance requires shorter mating periods, consider removing the bulls early

February

  • Remove bulls from the dairy platform when mating finishes

  • Calves should start their lepto programme if not already started

  • Cows and heifers will need a lepto booster in the next 1-2 months

  • Body Condition Score your herd

  • Weigh Calves (consider Growright)

  • Monitor calves for polio/PEM – signs include blindness, staggering, and stargazing

  • Heifer PD’s can start 6 weeks after bull removal

  • Update your MINDA records with your clinical mastitis cases

March 

  • Dry off cows with a BCS of 3.0 or lower at the start of the month

  • Arrange a herd test to assist in culling and dry cow therapy decisions

  • Restart magnesium supplementation to prevent Autumn metabolics

  • Monitor herd for bloat

  • Final PD to identify late calving cows, inductions, and empties

  • Book an InCalf consult with your prime vet to review your reproductive performance following your final PD

  • Clearly mark and identify any cows that are dried off early with dry cow therapy

  • Consider combination therapy (antibiotic + teatseal) in early dried off cows

April

  • Dry off cows with a BCS of 3.5 or lower at the start of the month

  • Body Condition Score your herd and plan for strategic early dry-off of light cows, to ensure cows can reach their calving targets

  • Final lepto boosters for calves if not already completed

  • Consider a second whole herd PD to detect foetal loss before winter

  • Dry off cows with high SCC or producing less than 5L per day

  • Record all clinical mastitis cases into MINDA in preparation for your Annual Mastitis Review

  • Book in Annual Mastitis Review with your prime vet

  • Consider pre-dryoff cow drench

May 

  • Dry off cows with a BCS of 4.0 or lower at the start of the month

  • Heifers can be teatsealed from May onwards

  • Weigh calves to ensure they are on target (consider Growright)

  • Consider a late whole herd PD to detect foetal loss before winter

  • Consider salmonella vaccination (sensitizer) if abortion or cow deaths were an issue last season

  • Book in Tracecheck or Optigrow liver biopsies for pre-winter Trace Element monitoring

  • Reduce feed intake for the last week of milking

  • Body Condition Score your herd before they go to the run-off

June

  • Get a baseline Body Condition Score done at the start of the wintering period to calculate daily feed requirement/ allocation

  • An induction list should be sorted 60 days BEFORE inducing

  • Preferentially feed cows identified for induction

  • Sort your Rotavec orders, should be administered 3 weeks prior to calving

  • Book in your RVM (restricted veterinary medicine) consult with your prime vet

  • Consider lice treatment if a pour-on drench was not used pre-dryoff

  • Test crops and pasture for nitrate levels monitor cows for signs of toxicity

July

  • Get a Body Condition Score done at the start of July to monitor condition gain/ wintering programme (calving target = 5.0 - 5.5 for cows and 5.5 – 6.0 for heifers)

  • Start Magnesium supplementation 3-4 weeks before the planned start of calving

  • Inject cows with selenium 2-4 weeks prior to calving if no selenium administered over the Winter period

  • Enrol staff for the Spring Seminar for Workers

  • Rotavec should be administered 3 weeks prior to calving

  • Run Induction cows as a separate mob – must be 8-12 weeks from calving at the time of the first injection

  • Weigh calves to evaluate wintering programme (consider Growright)

  • A blood test can be performed on 15 yearling calves to determine BVD status of the group

August

  • Get a Body Condition Score done on your Springer and Dry Cows to assess the success of your wintering programme

  • Arrange for a blood test of Colostrum cows as part of the Tracecheck programme to assess transition management and mineral status

  • Identify and mark all cows calved before the midpoint and arrange to metricheck this group 2 weeks after the last cow has calved

  • A BVD sensitiser needs to be given to unvaccinated heifers, cows, and bulls 8 weeks prior to the start of mating

  • Yearlings can be given another shot of long acting selenium to set them up for mating

  • Monitor your BMSCC and discuss with your prime vet if rising or grading

  • Start calf debudding and give your Covexin (clostridial) sensitiser vaccination

  • Avoid grazing effluent paddocks with colostrum and springer cows

September

  • Tail paint should be applied 35 days before the planned start of mating to identify pre-mating heats

  • A BVD booster vaccination should be given 3-5 weeks before the PSM if in a programme

  • Metricheck the second half of your herd/ later calving cows 2 weeks after they have calved

  • Sign up for the BVD bulk milk monitoring package

  • Weigh yearlings prior to the mating period (consider Growright)

  • Check cow teat health – greater than 1 in 15 lesions can be indicative of plant or liner issues

  • Start calf debudding and give your Covexin (clostridial) sensitiser vaccination

  • Arrange for pre-mating bloods to be taken (as part of Tracecheck) to check trace elements levels

  • Discuss heifer mating synchrony programmes with your vet, especially if considering a double shot PG programme

  • Organise a pre-mate InCalf consult with your prime vet

October

  • Get a Body Condition Score done on your herd to see if they have reached targets for the PSM (target = 4.5 for cows, 5.0 for heifers)

  • Arrange for pre-mating bloods to be taken (as part of Tracecheck) to check trace elements levels

  • Industry target is for 75% of your herd to have had a pre-mating heat 10 days before the PSM

  • Non-cyclers should be examined/treated before the 10th day of mating to ensure they are mated within the first 3 weeks (should be calved >35 days)

  • Consider a PG programme in heifers after 6 days of mating to condense your AI period

  • Run light and younger cows separately over the mating period

  • Metricheck your late calving cows 2 weeks after the last one has calved

  • Train all staff in heat detection and drafting during mating

  • Watch for bloat on second round grass

November

  • Booster vaccinate your calves with Covexin/ clostridial vaccine

  • Begin your calf drenching programme

  • Examine remaining non-cyclers on day 24-25 of mating

  • Weigh your calves (consider Growright)

  • Continue to teatspray after every milking for the whole of the season

  • Monitor for pink-eye in calves, consider vaccination in at-risk mobs

  • Maintain heat detection as a priority for the second 3 weeks (don’t let standards slip)

  • Discuss lameness prevention with staff (consider Healthy Hoof)

December

  • Herds identified with high/toxic copper levels last Autumn should be liver biopsied again in December

  • Ensure sufficient bulls to follow up AI. The recommendation is to have 1 bull for every 30 cows not pregnant to AI in the herd at ALL times

  • Remove and treat lame bulls, and ensure they are replaced to ensure adequate bull cover

  • Early pregnancy testing of non-return cows 35-40 days post-insemination to detect and treat phantom cows

  • Remove bulls from heifers after an 8-9 week mating period

  • Replace the milking liners

  • Drop off milk samples for culture if you are having mastitis issues

  • Renew your Leptocred accreditation if required

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