On suckler farms where breeding for spring-calving cows started in late May to early June, pay attention for signs of repeat breeding activity.

Cows served in the last week of May or the first few days of June that did not hold to service will be coming back into heat at some point in the next week.

In every herd, there will always be a few animals that repeat on every cycle.

But alarm bells should be ringing if there is a high number of animals coming back in heat.

If this is the case, there may be an infertile or sub-fertile stock bull that needs replacing immediately. Mineral deficiencies can also lower cow fertility, as can heat stress with the current hot spell.

Recording cows

Early action is needed to avoid a high number of barren cows. This is where recording cows observed in heat comes into its own.

Where tag numbers were recorded for cows served in early June, herd owners know exactly which animals to be watching for in the next week.

Continue to watch the rest of the herd, noting down tag numbers as cows are observed in heat, making it easy to monitor animals again in three weeks' time.

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