Estrus (Heat) Detection Methods

Merve Demirtaş



It hurts you too that you have reached this article. For dairy farmers, heat detection is very important for making money. Because accurate heat detection ensures that the animal is inseminated on time and conceives as soon as possible. A cow that does not get pregnant neither gives calves nor gives milk properly...
So why can’t we catch it visually? Because, in high milking cows, estrus phase passes much faster and fades just as quickly, moreover, in most cases, the anger at night, when things are quieter; of course, latent resentment is not exactly there might be a problem.

Recognized estrus detection methods;

  1. To prevent contagious diseases, avoid using teaser bulls!

  2. Kamar is a pressure-sensitive ink patch that is placed on the sacrum to detect standing heat. It is often not practical to put a Kamar on each cow to observe the mounting process. They don’t provide much in the way of accurate information about the optimal timing for insemination. Livestock operations that employ this imprecise method give up after a short time.

  3. A pedometer is an electronic device that transmits information about the number of steps that a cow takes over a set time: It is not enough to merely detect the number of steps of individual cows. It is essential not to forget that cows are also restless when they are just standing in one place.

  4. Installing a video camera in the barn: This method always comes quickly to mind, but after a short period, livestock farmers lose interest in watching the footage from these video setups. In the long term, videos cameras are generally not employed in the estrus detection process.

  5. Employing an estrus calendar: Unfortunately, not all cows have the same estrus intervals; however, following an estrus calendar gives farmers a general idea of the estrus cycles of the cows in their herds. We strongly recommend that you use herd management programs to keep track of your estrus calendar.

  6. Monitoring ovarian activities with ultrasonography: This can be a helpful tool if you are a veterinarian and work with animals. However, livestock farmers do not always have easy access to the equipment involved in this method.

  7. Measurement of the elasticity and electric resistance of the vaginal mucus: This method detects estrus, but it is mainly used in an experimental capacity in university studies. Practical implementation in the field is not easy. Vagina pH measurement is another related technique, although it is almost exclusively used in scientific studies.

  8. Monitoring the vaginal mucus: Farmers should be employing this method frequently anyway. Farmers must know where to look while practicing this detection method. For example, is there any discharge, and if so, what color and shape is the discharge? If a transparent and clear mucus is observed, this is an excellent indicator of estrus.

  9. Checking milk temperature: This constitutes a controlled variable in automation systems. A decrease in the amount of milk and a temperature change can be good indicators of estrus.

  10. Changes in blood and milk progesterone concentration: This method provides highly accurate results; of course, with this technique, farmers need to take blood from the animal in question frequently. Unfortunately, processing blood samples in barn conditions is not practical.

Some of these methods mentioned above are simple, and some are complicated. Some of them lack precision, and some are highly accurate; some are costly, and some are impractical; every single one of these mentioned methods is imperfect in one way or another.

Many livestock farms operating today are not successful in maximizing productivity despite trying most of these methods. Being successful or unsuccessful as a livestock farmer is not down to one reason; the breeding process is not complete once estrus is detected. You have to be in a position to start insemination right away. So, first of all, how does one recognize the optimal time?

Currently, innovative technology in livestock management has become more widely available. One example of popular modern farming tech that farmers broadly employ is the estrus tracking system. Thanks to the practical activity meter attached to each individual cow in your herd, it is now possible to receive messages to your phone notifying you if one of your cows is in heat. When the optimal insemination time has been reported to you with this incredibly convenient method, you can save money on insemination expenses, and productivity in many areas of your operation increase.