The Complete Pregnancy Rate Equation
Traditionally, pregnancy rate has been calculated by looking at the percentage of cows bred and confirmed pregnant during a 21-day heat cycle. A more complete approach allows dairy producers to learn more about herd pregnancy rate by further investigating what is included in the equation:
Focusing on heat detection rate and conception rate separately can allow you to implement changes for more successful reproductive improvements. There are multiple influencers to each side of the equation, including:
Through advancement in reproductive technology, dairies have been able to see improvement in heat detection rates within a few weeks. Conception rate, however, is much more complicated and is impacted by multiple areas of the dairy operation. Therefore, improving conception rates require a commitment and investment from the producer and on-farm consultants.
Using the ration to boost conception rate
Many key parts of the ration—like energy levels—affect a cow’s ability to conceive. One specific approach identified to help improve conception rates and reproduction success is feeding MEGALAC®-R Omega-3 and Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs). EFAs have been proven to enhance several significant biological functions, including:
Research¹confirms the benefits of a ration containing the EFA combination. Cows fed a ration with MEGALAC-R had higher pregnancy rates by five percentage points. Since heat detection was similar between the two groups, the improved pregnancy rate was accredited to an enhanced conception rate.
MEGALAC-R has other proven benefits that can impact the dairy cow’s reproductive success. A ration containing Omega-3 and Omega-6 EFAs can optimize immune function and reduce incidence of metabolic disorders postpartum.¹
Work with the dairy team to improve pregnancy rate
Reproductive success takes an effort from all ends of the dairy. Work with your dairy team and herd nutritionist to identify opportunities for improvements. Keep in mind the components of the pregnancy rate equation—isolating conception rate and heat detection to fully understand where change can be more impactful.
1 EFA Alert Research Summary. p.15: Church & Dwight Co., Inc. 2002.