Calculating your calving index

How well are you doing? – Calculate your Calving Index

Choose the 12 month period for which you want to calculate your calving index. List all the cows which calved down in this period and note the last calving date and also the previous calving date for each cow. Use a calendar to calculate the number of days between the 2 dates. This is the calving interval for each cow. Totalling up all the calving intervals and dividing by the number of cows involved will give the calving index for the herd. The target for most commercial herds should be 365-375 days - beef herds the aim is to achieve a "live calf every 365 days".

Calving index is best interpreted along with the percentage of barren cows. List the cows that calved the season before last and count those who have failed to get in-calf. Less than 5-8% is a good target depending on calving pattern.

Click here for an example and for a calculator

How does your herd measure up to these targets and what steps need to be taken to improve your present results?