Culling is all about choice, and choice facilitates herd improvement. The better on farm reproduction and animal health is, the more options you’ll have to cull based on production. This will maximise the productivity and efficiency of your herd. Animals, objectives and on farm environments vary across the country so culling comes down to individual choices and goals.
Factors affecting culling
Understanding the situation on farm is crucial. Factors to consider are:
Knowing your culling policy is important.
Information & criteria is required to come to these decisions. A typical culling criteria will include:
Getting rid of the robbers
A robber is a cow that consumes more feed than its peers, relative to the milk solids it produces. Getting rid of the robbers is essentially production base culling, and usually begins with identifying low or negative PW and LW animals. Before you start getting rid of your robbers, make sure you have informed (reliable) PWs and LWs from regular Herd Testing.
“…every untested herd contains the possibility of cows whose poor work is robbing their owner every day they are kept. It is for the business like farmer to locate these robbers. If he fails to apply this corrective to his herd’s earning capacity, he cannot expect a great deal of sympathy if business is bad.” (Dairyman, 19 January 1924)
Making the most of the tools available
View more information about Herd Testing with LIC.