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Early detection helps

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Pre-mating heat detection can improve mating season success and help everyone brush up on their heat detection skills, says CRV AmBreed

“Apply ESTROTECT™ Breeding Indicators to all cows at least three weeks prior to the planned start of mating and record when each cow comes on heat, replacing the ESTROTECT™ Breeding Indicator with one of a different colour. By the end of three weeks, cows with unchanged heat detection aids should be looked at more closely or perhaps seen by a vet.

“Identifying and treating non-cyclers early will keep herd fertility and calving pattern on track. Early treatment will get cows cycling in time to calve in line with their herd mates, produce well and get in calf early for next year.

“When you combine this with the increased number of days in milk and the costs and challenges of inductions, pre-mating heat detection and early treatment of non-cyclers makes sense.

“A non-pregnant cow should come on heat/ into oestrus every 18-24 days; the average cycle is 21 days. To cycle regularly and have the best chance of maintaining a pregnancy, she needs to be healthy and wellgrown, consistently fed and managed to be at a minimum body condition score of 4.0 at the planned start of mating. And she should have had sufficient time between calving and mating to return to her normal reproductive state.”

There are some clear signs a cow is on-heat: she stands to be ridden, which will rub skin and hair off the top of the tail and trigger heat detection devices; the coating of the ESTROTECT™ Breeding Indicators will be rubbed off, revealing the alert colour beneath.

If they ride other cows and are restless or bellow, or if they gather in small groups of continually milling animals – which you will notice best in the paddock – quietly move among the cows a couple of hours after milking and take note of these animals, as they may not be evident in the yard or moving around the farm.

Some other signs include mucus around the vulva, scuff or mud marks or saliva down the flanks caused by mounting animals, or they may come into the shed in a different order than usual, often at the front or back of the herd.

It’s important one person is responsible for accurately detecting and recording cows on heat; however, everyone should be familiar with the signs, CRV AmBreed says.

“Many sets of eyes can be better than just one. Your heat detection, genetics, AB practices and whole-herd fertility are in your hands and offer great returns.”

Easy to use

The benefits of ESTROTECT Breeding Indicators over traditional heat detection methods are;

  • Brilliant signal layer is exposed after several mountings, detecting standing heat with extreme accuracy.
  • Self-adhesive which is simple to apply
  • Once applied the ESTROTECT stay in place in rain, snow or heat
  • No re-application necessary
  • Herd colour management system allows you to use different colours to track and identify subsequent matings.
  • No messy glue or markers
  • Easy storage and shipping, not dangerous goods.

After a single mounting: The reflective signal layer begins to show.

After 3-5 mountings: More of the signal layer is exposed after several mountings.

After more than 5 mounts: Most of the signal layer is revealed, indicating several mountings of an animal in true standing heat.


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