block calving

block calving

a breeding management system in which all of the cows in a herd, or an area, are encouraged to calve at approximately the same time. Has the effect of concentrating all of the calving and puerperal problems at one time and having all of the cows begin and terminate their lactations together. Has the disadvantage that the herd's period of maximum productivity is also concentrated, making it subject to much greater risk of loss. Is the opposite of year-round calving. Called also seasonal calving.
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Ed's 220-cow Holstein herd averages 8,200 litres, having been switched to autumn block calving four years ago to maximise grazed grass.
At Henbant, which is south facing with land rising from 650 to 850 feet above sea level, he intends to make maximum use of grass, either grazed or in the form of clamped silage, with block calving from February onwards.
Block calving offers advantages as well as challenges, and we aim to increase herd numbers and target age at first calving as a priority.
Ty Newydd, at Trefnant, Denbigh, is milking 200 cows on an organic spring block calving system.
However, the new PSSCI should only be used for the spring block calving herds targeting a yield of around 4,500kg per year.
The farm business covers 650ha with two milking units and spring block calving.
Its current focus is to improve cow health and fertility, and grasslands, with a move to autumn block calving in the medium term.
When block calving and out-wintering, the best grass goes into the cows and calves when they need it - to produce milk and at serving time.
IN block calving systems, whether they are beef or dairy, it is vital that each cow calves once a year to stay in the calving block.
The idea is to switch to block calving in late August and supply higher quality milk to South Caernarfon Creameries.
I don't want to go down the block calving route because I would have to be critical with fertility and I don't want to do that with a pedigree herd but thanks to the bolus we are getting more cows back in calf," he says.
Cefn Amwlch's low-input system is geared towards efficiency, with the spring block calving of 1,000 Jerseys and Jersey crossbreds on 750 acres to produce 3,500-4,000 litres per cow.