2021 Results to date

Calving at Admetus ran from 10th March until 1st May.

Grazing conditions through autumn were reasonably tight but the very wet winter (273 mm rain through May June and July {~ 73 mm above average}) made the late winter very tight, say ~ 700 to 1000kg/ha food on offer in mid- July / August with moderate pasture pugging. It has been too wet to get out and do any supplementary feeding since mid-July. The cows were generally a little light but holding condition for the first half of winter but have lost weight in the second half.

Pregnancy scanning was undertaken on 19/8/2021. The cattle were body condition scored at that time. The bulls are still with the herd so conceptions in the last 2 – 3 weeks will be recorded as not detectably pregnant. Therefore, potential end date for calving is around 10th May 2022 (excluding any late conceptions).

Embryo transfer (ET)

Mating commenced with the embryo transfer program on 5/6/2021. Six carryover empty cows received one of imported twinner-line Canadian embryos . A backup bull went with them from 15/6. This was bull 912 till 8/7 then bull 2019. Pregnancy testing on 19/8 revealed 4 cows pregnant to the ET and 2 to the backup bull. Therefore, ET calves due about 7th March 2022.

Artificial Insemination (AI)

The 20 heifers were ovary scanned on 24/5 and 7/6 then 16 of them were detected on heat and AI’ed to Paringa Iron Ore on 9&10/6. (Cloprostenol was given to all on 24/5 and 7/6).  One heifer not AI’ed and not pregnant had no detected ovarian activity and a small uterus at scanning and was probably prepubic. The backup bull 2019 went with these heifers on 15/5 and was replaced by 943 on 8/7. AI calves due about 19 March for singles and 12th March for twins.

Not detectably pregnant315%
Pregnant single1050%
Pregnant twins735%
Condition score (ASA 9 point scale)4 

One heifer had calved 2/5 (hard pull, dead at birth, seemed full term, therefore conception ~26/7/2020 at 4.5 months of age) and is excluded from these figures.

General Mating

The  bulls arrived from Cashmore on 15th June and were put straight out. The lactating cows and first calf heifers were run together and were in 2 groups, i.e., some in paddocks 1 &2 and the rest in Paddocks 3 &4.   Bull 948 went into P1/2 and 943 went into P/4. Bull rotation occurred the 8th July, with bull 912 into P1/2 and 948 into P3/4.

 Cows (N=30) First Calf heifers (N=9) Overall total (N=39)
Not detectably Pregnant517%00%13%
Pregnant single930%667%38%
Pregnant twins1653%333%49%
Condition score (ASA 9 points)3.3 3.3  

Overall, I am fairly happy with these results. The empty rate is a bit higher than I would hope for but most of the empty cows had had some problems (dystocia and/or getting thin and requiring drenching, however some of the pregnant cows had these issues as well). The twinning rate is good considering the nutrition was a bit marginal.

At this stage we have 57 pregnant with 84 foetuses on board.

Calf growth rate

The calves were first weighed on 7th Oct 2021 (Average age 192 days) and then again at weaning on 25th Nov 2021 (average age 241 days). It is worth noting the improved growth rate of the calves in mid to late spring. It is also worth noting how small the weaning weight penalty for being born a twin is this year.

Birth typeWt KG (7/10)Twin/Single ratioWt KG (25/11)Twin/Single ratio
Single females226 298 
Twin females21394%28695%
Single males253 337 
Twin males20983%28484%