Milk in the vat is money in the bank, and now is the time that you’re setting up for next season. Heat detection can be a relatively inexpensive process if you get it right. Cows that calve early to AB can provide your replacements and put more milk solids in the vat next year. Picking them on heat accurately is key. “The best heat detection results are achieved by combining paddock observations with heat detection aids such as tail paint and heat mount detectors” – The InCalf™ Book
Paddock Checks are free
Labour isn’t, so make time and roster your staff or blocks of your day to get into the paddock. Head to the paddock after the cows have been munching for at least 2 hours. Cows that are full will be quicker to start showing signs of heat, and well-fed cows show stronger, longer heats. Grab a coffee, head to the paddock, and spend some time with the girls.
Watch where you're watching
Overseas studies show that roughly 50% of cows won’t show standing heat when they’re on concrete, so don’t limit yourself by looking for signs of heat as they come into the yard or on the feed pad.
Maintain those aids
To get the best out of your spend on heat detection aids you’ll need to keep them well maintained. Take the time to apply them correctly, check them regularly, and make the time for touch ups and aid maintenance. Read and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
Free Heat Detection
Don’t leave your cows that were just AB’d in the ‘next-to-the-shed’ paddock until the afternoon milking. Get them back into the herd and allow the next girls that are coming on to join the party. Sit back on the bike with your mating app or pen and paper and note down their numbers.
The more the better and the more the easier
Studies show that it’s easier to pick cows when there are more cows in heat in the same place. The strength and length of heats increases with the size of the sexually active group. Cows spend over 3-fold more time involved in heat displays when there are at least two cows in heat compared to one.
Pre-mating heats can be your pre-season warm up
Test yourself in the pre-mating period so that your eye is sharp before mating start date. You can use mating apps or charts to record the heat dates and cow numbers, and highlight dates you weren’t certain about. If there’s lots of highlighter on your paper before mating start date then a review of your process may be a good idea.
View our Heat Detection products.