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To contact one of our “Forage for Profit” team, call the Seed Office on 01769 576232
or Graham Ragg on 07798 583667
or email


Improving Heat Detection at Grass

The problems of heat detection in the winter are as great, if not greater, in the summer when observation time is even less with all there is to be done in the summer, and the only time many cows are seen is as they are being brought in for, and during milking. Not sufficient chance to see cows properly to get them quickly in calf again.

With larger herd sizes and less time and labour it is becoming more difficult to spot cows on heat, and even when seen, assessing when it’s the right time to serve in relation to the onset of oestrus, is even more difficult.

So what is the solution? It has to be better heat detection, but as most of these cows will be cycling they are just not being seen so the chance to serve at the best time is lost. Why are cows not being seen bulling? Well for the same reasons we have stated before:

  • Shorter bulling periods

  • Bulling at night

  • Less obvious signs of heat

  • Overall herd lethargy; the greater the proportion in calf the lower the herd bulling activity

  • Larger herd size and less suitable standing areas reduce bulling activity.

  • Lack of observation at the critical times

In the summer cows often bull more strongly, but just the fact that not enough time can be spent observing them that this bulling activity is missed and cows not served. This is the best reason to get help from the technology available to identify heats.

If one cannot spend 10 -15 minutes three times a day during these periods, or the herd does not have access to a suitable yard, then we have to recognise that there is a problem and need to do something about it, otherwise many potential pregnancies will be lost and costs will increase.

If it is not possible to create more ‘watching’ time, on an ongoing basis, then we have to employ other methods such as pedometers, Heatime neck transponders or the Genus RMS service. These are proving to have huge benefits in getting cows served at the right time to achieve more successful pregnancies. Improving heat detection at grass observation time is short with all that has to be done in the summer.

There is help out there for ‘effective’ heat detection to help reduce missed heats, improve AI timing and ultimately improve herd fertility. Far too many cows are being culled as infertile when with better heat detection they could still be contributing to herd performance without requiring costly replacements. Reducing culling rate, replacement rate and keeping your calving interval at a respectable level can provide huge cost savings to your business. These are often overlooked in the day to day running of a dairy farm. If you would like to know more about the Heatime system please contact your local specialist, Business Development Manager or Farm Sales Co-ordinator who will be happy to help.

We have successfully sold the system onto many farms across the area since its launch and if you would like to see it in operation this can be arranged. It is the systems simplicity that is the key to its success. Some farmers are so convinced of its accuracy, that they are serving the cows as indicated (or diverted out - an optional extra) and their vets early PD scanning are indicating higher pregnancy rates.

Observation time is short with all that has to be done in the summer.


MAG season.... we have it well and truly licked!

MOLE-Min Cattle High Magnesium Mineral Bucket

  • A MAGnificent mineral bucket for feeding at turnout

  • High in available Magnesium

  • High sugar content and excellent palatability for feeding at grass to cattle

  • Fortified with vitamins, trace elements and all major minerals

  • Especially high in Zinc to aid recovery of foot health at turnout

  • Available as a 20 & 100 kilo product size

  • 20 kilo product available from all MVF stores

  • Contains Copper - Do not feed to sheep

Find more details.

Super Energy Cattle Magnesium Feed Bucket

  • A low intake, high specification feed bucket for cattle at grass

  • Contains rumen protected energy in the form of megalac

  • Contains rumen protected protein

  • Fortified with vitamins, trace elements and all major minerals

  • Available in a 80 kilo tub for direct to farm deliveries only

  • Contains Copper - Do not feed to Sheep

Find more details.

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