August- to October-calving suckler cows should be settled in-calf again, ready for the next calving period this autumn.
Late January is a good time to scan these animals and confirm how many animals are back in-calf again.
Scanning can be safely and accurately carried out around 40 days post-service.
Technicians can also identify the sex of the calf when scanning is carried out around 60 days after conception.
At present, processing demand for cull cows is exceptionally strong. Identifying replacement heifers that are not in-calf allows herd owners to offload these animals now when there is sharp demand.
Where cows have a calf at foot, but are not in-calf, separate these animals out from the main herd and increase meal levels being directly fed to the calf.
It is more cost effective in terms of liveweight gain to feed meal directly to the calf, rather than the cow in an effort to maintain milk yield.
August- and September-calving suckler cows will be heading into late lactation by early spring, so milk yield will be starting to tail off.
By upping the meal levels being fed to the calf, it will help prepare the young animals for weaning in early spring.
It will also reduce the demands on the empty cow, helping these animal to maintain flesh ahead of culling.