March 10, 2023 at 7:16 p.m.
Breeding Profile

Solid management yields profitable results at Kieler Farms Inc.

Leah and Dan Kieler stand by their farm sign Feb. 28 at their farm near Platteville, Wisconsin. The Kielers milk 2,000 cows and farm 4,500 acres.  PHOTO BY ABBY WIEDMEYER
Leah and Dan Kieler stand by their farm sign Feb. 28 at their farm near Platteville, Wisconsin. The Kielers milk 2,000 cows and farm 4,500 acres. PHOTO BY ABBY WIEDMEYER

Dr. Dan Kieler
Kieler Farms Inc.
Platteville, Wisconsin
2,000 cows

Describe your facilities and your breeding management team. We milk in a 50-stall rotary and with a 12-row cross-ventilated barn since 2018. Brandon Klein is our Select Sires technician, and Dan Meisen is the herdsman who takes care of all the reproductive shots.

What is your current pregnancy rate? It is 37%.

What is your reproduction program? The voluntary waiting period is 72 days. All cows are bred first service using double ovsynch. Klein walks and chalks daily. Cows are given a pre-pregnancy GnRH shot a week prior to pregnancy check and are ultrasounded at 29-36 days.

Do you use a synchronization program? Yes. All first service is bred off double ovsynch. Open cows go through regular ovsynch.

Describe your breeding philosophy. My goal is to get all cows pregnant as efficiently as possible to the proper bull based on genomics.

What guidelines do you follow to reach the goals for your breeding program? Compliance and automation. We use a wand and RFID system to identify cows on shot and herd check days to rapidly, correctly and efficiently get the work done.

What are the top traits you look for in breeding your dairy herd and how has this changed since you started farming? I look at cheese merit, combined fat and protein, dairy wellness profit dollars, and sire conception rate and daughter pregnancy rate.

What are certain traits you try to avoid? I like to avoid animals with poor health traits, poor reproductive traits and slow milking speeds because we have a smaller rotary parlor.

Describe the ideal cow for your herd. A moderately sized cow with good reproductive traits and good production with sound feet and legs and proper udder conformation.

What role does genetics have in reaching the goals of your farm? Genetics and genomic testing is helping us reach our goals of shipping the most pounds of solids possible. All animals are genomic tested to determine which will receive sexed semen, and the rest are bred to beef. Genetics are just as important on the beef semen we put in too. I really look for marbling and ribeye size when selecting a beef bull as all our crossbred calves are being finished and sold on a grid marketing system.

What percentage of your herd is bred to sexed, conventional and beef semen? Our herd is bred approximately two-thirds beef and one-third sexed semen. No conventional Holstein semen is used. We currently do not do any in vitro fertilization work, but it is possible in the future as we get some higher genomic animals.
What is your conception rate? How does this differ with different types of semen? Our conception rate is around 50% on beef semen and 48% on sexed semen. We also only use 4M sexed semen on cows.

What is the greatest lesson you have learned through your breeding program? Getting cows pregnant is one of the most important things to do on the farm. It is important to be monitoring short- and long-term trends. When something isn’t working as well as it should, develop a plan and take action.

What is the age of your heifers at first service? I will start breeding heifers at 11-12 months of age. I really try to focus on accelerated and rapid growth program on heifers, making sure they have proper protein and calories at all growing phases. Heifers also receive Synovex C implants at 3 and 7 months of age.

How does your heifer inventory affect your breeding program? I want to maintain a certain number of heifers per month, and I watch inventories. But, I mainly limit my numbers by watching conception rates and limiting the number of sexed services on a weekly basis through a system I put in DairyComp.

Tell us about your farm. We are a family farm in Platteville, Wisconsin. Owners are Louis and Ann Kieler, Eric and Leah Kieler, Matt and Renee Clark, Drs. George and Jackie Kieler, and myself, Dr. Dan Kieler. We milk about 2,000 cows and raise our replacements and crossbred bull calves. We also have a 160 beef cow-calf herd and farm around 4,500 acres.


You must login to comment.

Top Stories

Today's Edition



27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

To Submit an Event Sign in first

Today's Events

No calendar events have been scheduled for today.