Managing Embryo Donors at Grass

Believe it or not, grass may not be the ideal diet for embryo production. Problems can occur when grass is growing fast and is high in protein and low in fibre. Mid season stalky grass that is not too lush is best.

At any other time donors should be buffer fed with big bale silage, straw or hay to increase fibre intake. Sugar beet pulp is an ideal supplementary feed providing energy to balance the protein in the grass and also additional fibre to improve rumen function.

Sugar beet pulp is also a useful carrier for a powdered mineral supplement or for a trace element boost through the programme  - an essential part of any ET programme.

For donor cows not receiving standard mineral supplementation in their diet, free access minerals should be provided in the form of buckets, licks or palatable powder, and dosing with trace element boluses (e.g. Cosecure and Ionox) should be considered. 

Key Points

  • Reduce protein content of diet by buffer feeding, particularly when the grass is lush.
  • Increase the energy in the diet by supplementing sugar beet pulp.
  • Supplement with a good standard mineral formulation in the diet or by free access.
  • Dose with trace element boluses, such as Cosecure and Ionox.