As herds continue to increase in size, traditional indicators for measuring and monitoring reproductive performance, such as calving interval, calving to conception interval, conception rate, submission rate and days open, are becoming less appropriate markers for assessing the performance of modern dairy herds. The definitions used to describe these parameters often vary, which can make it difficult to know which cows are eligible for analysis and hence benchmark true herd performance. The use of averages is also likely to miss the true impact of management changes on the reproductive capability of the herd. This article suggests the use of some alternative measures of reproductive performance and considers their role in the management of larger dairy herds.
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