Knowing that milk production is the key to profitability in a dairy, it is also important to point out that the lactation cycles of dairy cows and the amount of milk that they produce is closely tied to pregnancy. And the timing of pregnancy in dairy cows is much different than other animals with estrus cycles which can be much longer in between than cows. I asked Dr. of veterinary medicine Mike Lormore to explain this concept. “Cattle, unlike some other animals, are not photo period specific relative to when they come back into estrus. What we have to do is do a great job in getting them through the calving process, minimizing disease risks early in that lactation period and hopefully once they have gone through, in some cases, as little as 20 days, sometimes it takes a little bit longer, they will start to cycle again and come back into estrus on their own. They must be monitored carefully.”
Which is much easier to do these days thanks to computer records and more highly technical monitoring instrumentation.