One of the purpose of doing cattle farming is for the milk production, raising dairy cows requires close attention so they could produce many milk as possible. Having dairy cows to breed will require some planning, close observation, regular mating and regular milk production. Dairy cows need to breed in order to produce calves to make milk, that is why cows breeding program are important for every dairy farms. In order to produce high quality with huge quantity milk you need to have a good breeding programs for your cows or cattle just like how to do cattle farming for beginner. Here are things you need to know about dairy cows to breed.
Of course all the female cows produce some milk when they were calving, but it’s the milk enough for sale or just enough for a small family consumption. The purpose of breeding program is to improve the production of the milk by playing with the genetic terms. Dairy cows have different selection of characteristic than beef cattle.
The first thing you do on cattle breeding program is to select which cows have the best characteristic, once you found some good characteristic on your cows you need to decide which characteristic will be priorities and some characteristic need to sacrifice. For example, your cow’s milk yield might able to improve but their cows will be udder shape.
Not only choosing for cow with good characteristics, you also need to select the bull who have pure dairy blood. If you don’t have them, at least pair your cows with half dairy blood bulls so that their daughter will be superior in milk production and could be mate with any bulls.
Once you mate a few cows with one bull, you better mover him to another farm in order for him mating with his daughter or granddaughter. Because the best result for growth and longevity for cow is when they mate with unrelated bull, because cows tend to have a long live than other animal.
Mating between father and daughter or granddaughter can happen, but it is not recommended. This type breeding could bring great chance for recessive genes to appear. That include reduction in growth rate, fertility, and vigor. Breeding between family line or inbreeding could bring such defect to the surface more faster.
Once you have the chosen cow and bull, you need to organize the mating. Don’t put the bull with the cow heifers all year a long, because you will not know when the cow is mated and whether she pregnant or not and you will not know when she is ready to calve. This method also give you late information if there is something wrong with your cows. By having an organize mating you need to observe even recorded the mating process.
The advantage of having an organize mating is that you can take a good are of the bull and make sure he doesn’t become injured in the field. You could also keep accurate record about the breeding date, so you can predict how long until the calving time. And you could also identify which cow having a reproductive problem.
Signs Ready to Mate
When your cows is ready to mate, you can take your cow to the bull by tying her with a loose rope to the tree and allow the bull to mount her. You can prepare the cow to get ready to mate by introducing them to the bull every day. The present or sight of the bull will provoke the cow to be ready to mate. You can also see the sign that indicating cows ready to mate like, walking up and down a fence line, then streams of clear mucus coming from the vulva, mounting or get mounted by other cow. When their nipples suddenly fall a little, and her tail slight raise when she is running with other cows also the sign that your cow is come into heat and ready to mate.
Usually cows come into heat every 18-21 days and last for about 18 hours. Whether it’s the cow or the bull, they both will get continue come into heat until they successfully mated and for the cow until she become pregnant. If you see your cow come into heat in the morning, the best thing you need to do is mate her with the bull at that time and again in the afternoon on the same day.
Once the cow becomes pregnant, then she will not come into heat until they give birth to her calf, there will be a clear sign if they get pregnant just like cats. It is uncommon when the cows is pregnant that they will accept a bull to mate her, but is possible but not that frequent. Although cow can come into heat very soon after calving, but you need to wait for at least 60 days before you mate her again. Those time will give her body more time to rest and recover. But remember, cows will still care for their babies until the age of 3, so you better separate the calves before mating them again.
Breeding by Artificial Insemination
Beside breeding ‘traditionally’ by mating your cow to a bull, you could also do artificial insemination to breed your dairy cow. It is a good method if you don’t want to raise a bull in your farm that will give you extra expense. Bull also need to be move around every 2 years, in order to avoid intermating with your cows. But if you have a huge farm that have more than 7 cows, then this method is not the one for you.
Artificial insemination is a very common practice in the agriculture world, it involve collecting semen to breed the animal. Then the semen will kept frozen in the straws, then a skill vet or AI (sort for artificial insemination) technician will deposit the semen to the animal in the proper time, depend on their reproduction cycle. Doing an artificial insemination could allow you to keep the bull bloodline clear, and it will help you avoid interbreeding easier.
Knowing when your cow is into the heat when doing artificial insemination is different from the sign when mating with usual bull. Your cows will show an out of character behaviour, calling other cows more than usual, swollen vulva and a clear mucous start to come out from her back are the sign that your cow is in the heat and ready to mate. The best indication to know that they already in heat is, when she allow other cow weather they are a male or female to ride her.