Success in your artificial insemination program requires a high conception rate. And a key to conception is detecting when females are in heat (estrus).

Expertise in heat detection starts with cow identification and an adequate recordkeeping system. Each heat date after calving should be recorded even if it’s too early to breed. Record all observed heats on a calendar, and as detection improves, you can look ahead to anticipate the next heat period.

Pregnancy rates of cows serviced during their first cycle are generally 50 percent to 60 percent. By anticipating "repeats" you can increase the accuracy of heat detection. There are other subtle signs that you can watch for to anticipate when a cow will be in heat.

  • If a cow appears to go off feed
  • A sudden drop in milk flow
  • Changes in behavior such as restlessness
  • Increased flow of clear mucus