Post-Calving Drenching Shows Benefits
Research shows attractive gains from post-calving drenching of dairy herds
Research published in the New Zealand Veterinary Journal shows dairy farmers could make significant economic gains by drenching animals soon after calving.
New Zealand trials using eprinomectin show that treated cows not only produced an extra 0.6 litres of milk per cow per day , first calvers were also in calf up to 12.9 days earlier than their untreated herd mates .
The extra milk yield equates to about $30 per cow per season, generating an extra $8400 of farm income for the average herd of 280 cows.
Dr Justin Hurst of animal health company, Merial, believes farmers need to pay attention to this research, which challenges the traditional view that drying-off is the best time for drenching.
"Drenching soon after calving rather than at drying off makes a lot of sense. We know it's far more feed-efficient to improve the condition score of a lactating animal than a dry one, and good condition is critical for cows to get back in calf.
Post-calving drenching is likely to yield a production response which will not only pay for the drench, but increase the chances of an early and successful pregnancy as well."
The 12.9 day pregnancy advantage shown by the trials could also generate another $50 per heifer, based on 12.9 days of additional milk production at a conservative 1kgMS/heifer/day.
Dr Hurst says traditionally older style drenches were not given pre drying off because milk and meat had to be withheld.
Merial's eprinomectin drench EPRINEX Pour on for cattle was specifically designed for lactating dairy cows. It not only has nil milk and meat withholding, but with such extensive trial data from NZ and around the world, has achieved a label claim for "increases milk production".
Additional international trials have also shown other specific advantages of Eprinex, including increased grazing time of up to 50 minutes per day and a concurrent increase in the consumption of high quality pasture.
With such substantial data, farmers can have confidence that by using EPRINEX they will get results to improve their productivity.