Monday, April 4, 2016
From March 18-31, our 25 yearling heifers have had their silage topped with MGA. MGA stands for melengestrol acetate, which suppresses the ovulation cycle for the heifers. For 14 days, Randy added the MGA to the silage and fed the equivalent of 1/2 a pound per head per day.
This is the first step in getting the heifers to come into estrus (or heat) at the same time. These young ladies were born in early 2015. In 2017, they will become mothers for the first time.
Later this month, Randy will give each heifer a shot of Lutalyse, which makes the heifers come into estrus (or heat).
So why do we try to synchronize the heifers' cycles? We do it to shorten the calving season for the heifers, which saves labor at calving time. (Well, it saves some labor for the humans - not the mama cows.) Because heifers are first-time mamas, we check them frequently in case they are having trouble calving.
I was the feed truck driver on a recent morning and again got a bird's-eye view of the process. They seemed to belly up to the feed troughs just fine, so it must taste OK.