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Information and videos on how to make sure your cows are truly on heat and submitted to AI as soon as possible after calving.

Heat detection

A good heat detection system and staying focused on the job ensures cows truly on heat are submitted to AI as soon as possible after calving. Staying focused on heat detection for at least 2 cycles will get more AI calves. Every cow that you find truly on heat is worth $200. If you miss heats or submit cows not on heat you will have fewer AI calves and lose dollars.

Video - heat detection in dairy cows:

The importance of good heat detection to maximise cow fertility at artificial insemination is explained in this short video. It shows the different signs shown by cows in heat and the best times and places to do heat detection.

Your heat detection system is working well if:

  • Seasonal herds - 9 out of 10 cows are inseminated within the 1st 3 weeks of mating
  • Year-round herds - 3 out of 4 cows are inseminated within 80 days after calving (if you are aiming for a 12-month calving interval)

Get a Fertility Focus Report to check submission rate and heat detection efficiency.

For best results combine paddock checks with the use of aids to look for signs and indicators of heat.

More information

Heat detection (PDF, 1.0MB)

This chapter on heat detection is in Section 3 'Acting on priorities', Chapter 10 from The InCalf Book.

Cows in colour booklet (PDF, 4.3MB)

Would you like more AI calves in your herd? A good heat detection system and staying focused on the job ensures cows truly on heat are submitted to AI as soon as possible after calving. If you miss heats or submit cows not on heat you will have fewer AI calves and lose dollars.

Guide to automated heat technologies (PDF,3.8MB)

This fact sheet is designed to help you assess the various automated heat detection technologies currently available in Australia.

Heat detection tool: Seasonal/Split calving herds (PDF, 1.1MB)

This is a risk assessment tool. It assesses heat detection and the risk that missed heats may reduce herd reproductive performance. In a seasonal or split calving herd, a useful indicator of heat detection is the % of mature cows that calved early in the calving period that were subsequently inseminated in the first three weeks of the mating period. This is because these cows are the most likely to be cycling.This document explains why and how to use this tool.

Heat detection tool: Year round calving herds (PDF, 1.2MB)

This is a risk assessment tool. It assesses heat detection and the risk that missed heats may reduce herd reproductive performance. In a year-round calving herd, two useful indicators of heat detection are the % of mature cows inseminated by 80 days after calving, and the % of cows that return to heat 18-24 days after insemination. This tool uses these two indicators to enable you to identify the risk of missed heats in your herd and assess the potential $ benefits of improved herd reproductive performance if this can be achieved by lowering your risk for missed heats.

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