Bulling and in-heat control

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Breeding for better life
Bulling and
in-heat control
www.geno.no
To achieve the best possible financial returns in milk
production, most farmers prefer cows to calve once a year.
This means that cows must be pregnant no later than 85
days following calving.
Problems with detecting when cows are on heat at the
right time means that in some herds, it can take a long
time for cows to calve.
Cows are in heat every 21 days. This is an
estimate, and we regard a variation of 17 to
24 days as standard. The time from the start
of one heat phase to the start of the next one
is called a heat cycle. The heat cycle can be
split into three phases.
Pre-heat phase
The pre-heat phase usually lasts 1-3 days.
Signs of this phase are not usually visible in
the winter months. If you base heat control
on mucous, you risk cows being inseminated
too early. Being able to differentiate between
the pre-heat and actual heat phase is often
difficult.
Signs of the pre-heat phase
During the final hours of the pre-heat phase,
the animals will display more and more behavioural signs. The animals become restless
and become increasingly interested in their
surroundings. They seek contact with other
animals, rub themselves against neighbouring cows and lick them. Look out for damp
patches after licking. Behavioural signs are
mounting, head resting, head scuffling and
sniffing the rear end. Some cows in the
pre-heat phase react by not producing milk.
Reduced appetite and feed intake can also
be signs that cows are in an early heat phase.
They may also ignore their food. The mucous
membranes in their genitalia will become
damp and reddish. The vulva becomes swollen. A tough, grey mucous plug can be seen
at the start simultaneously with drops of clear
mucous.
2
Heat phase
Duration
1. Pre-heat or
preliminary phase
1-3 days
2.Heat
6-30 hours
3.Post-heat
1-3 days
During the pre-heat phase, the mucous is
grey and tough, and then becomes thin and
clear. The mucous is not stringy or sticky.
Heat
The transition from pre-heat to heat is
gradual. Heat usually lasts approximately18
hours, with a variation from 6-30 hours.
Head resting. Cows show increased awareness of
their surroundings, here rubbing her head against
another cow. In the early heat phase the cow in heat
seeks contact, while during the actual heat phase
cows become more and more receptive to contact
from others.
Standing heat Cows stand for mounting. The standing reflex is the most reliable sign of heat. Cows that
mount may also be in heat, and they may take turns
mounting each other.
are in standing heat (stand reflex). This is the
most reliable sign of heat. Other important
signs are mounting, head resting, sniffing rear
end, reduced milk production and reduced
feed intake. Cows are restless and have a
glazed expression. They may stand and moo
during the first half of the heat phase. The
cow in heat will often remain standing when
others are lying down. When whistled to or
touched, they often lower their lower back.
Some animals will also move the lower back
and lift their tail or tail root when touched.
Stringy mucous forms, which is crystal clear
to blue in colour. The mucous can stick to
the thighs and tail. Towards the end of the
phase air sacs are visible in the mucous. The
mucous membranes in the genitalia continue
to be damp and red, and the vulva is swollen.
Sexually Active Groups (SAG)
During the heat phase, free-roaming cows or
cows in pastures will form so-called sexually
active groups. Cows that are in heat will stay
close to one another (within three metres
distance) over time and display visible heat
signs. If only one cow in the herd is in heat,
animals in the pre-heat phase or not in heat
may form SAG groups together with the cow
in heat. In such groups the partner of the cow
in heat may vary. Cows in standing heat can
join sexually active groups up to a 1/3 of the
time. It is important to keep an eye on such
groups because at least one cow in heat will
be part of that group.
The heat phase consists of three periods:
• Early heat – the period from the first
mounting activity until the cow stands
ready for mounting.
• Standing heat – cows stand ready for
mounting and are receptive to contact.
• Late heat – the period following standing
heat and until mounting activity stops. In
this phase there are usually few behavioural
signs and time is of the essence to get the
cow inseminated.
There is mounting activity in all three of the
heat phases.
Signs in the heat phase
If you are lucky, you will spot the cows that
Sexually active group (SAG). Two or more animals in heat at the same time will stay close to one another over
time. They will give and receive signs such as mounting, head resting, licking and sniffing
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Post-heat phase:
1–3 days
Rolig - normal oppførsel
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21
Stringy, clear and sticky mucous often with
air sacs.
Early
heat
Heat:
Pre-heat:
Active - seeks contact, mounts
and is mounted
18 hours
1–3 days
Ståbrunst:
Stands for mounting
and is receptive to
contact.
Late
heat
18
Grey, tough mucous,
thin and clear,
1-3 days
Gradually increased
activity and some
interest in other
animals
48
Hours before
24
20
40
60
80
0
3
6
4
I.O.%
It is easier to spot stringy mucous when the cow is
lying down. Check for swollen vulva lips and red,
shiny mucous in the vagina during heat.
When to inseminate?
During the heat phase, the mucous is stringy and
can be stretched between the fingers. The mucous
is sticky and sticks to the tail, backside and thighs.
Check for any dried-on traces of mucous, as many
animals only have a little mucous.
Minimal tough mucous, usually following bleeding 1-2 days when heat is completed.
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57
Hours after
9
A successful insemination requires thorough
and planned follow-up of each animal. Fixed
times and excellent routines form the basis of
successful results. Useful aids include barn
tables, a heat calendar or notebook where
any interesting observations are noted. Heat
control must be performed regularly for all
cows and heifers.
Even if the cows are not to be inseminated
during the next heat phase, the heat phase
and length should still be noted. This also
applies to the state of the mucous and the
time of the bleed following the heat phase. If
cows have not resumed a normal heat phase
within 60 days following calving, they should
be examined by a vet.
15
In-heat control
1.Stop at the barn door or other suitable
observation post. Check all the animals
and note if any of them have changed their
behaviour.
• Are some animals standing when others
are lying down?
• Which animal stands up first?
• Are there some animals that appear
more aware than others?
• Look closer at the animals lying down
first or the ones which remain standing
after feeding and milking.
• In open barns, note those animals that
are more active than others. These could
be both individual animals and groups.
2.Check each individual cow to be inseminated for different heat signs. These could
be reddening vulva lips, traces of mucous,
mucous on the tail, thighs and sometimes
traces of mucous on the ground. Check
also if neighbouring cows have wet hides
from licking.
12
Lasts until the next heat phase.
Getting started
Best time for
insemination
Rest phase
Heat control should be performed at least
twice daily after the morning and evening
mucking-out.
A further visit to the barn at noon and another
in the evening when all is quiet, increases the
chances of detecting heat. Mucous is most
visible when the cow is resting
Bleeding
Signs of post-heat phase
The cow's willingness to mate is gone. There
may still be some tough, clear mucous.
Towards the end of the phase, there may
be some blood mixed with the mucous. The
lips of the vulva are pale and constricted. A
clear bleed can be observed one to two days
following the end of the heat phase. The next
heat phase can be expected from 17 to 20
days following bleeding.
Ovulation
Post-heat phase
5
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Foto:
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3.Check to see if the cow reacts to you
touching her back and tail.
23/2
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Time of insemination
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When to inseminate after calving
After calving the womb will need a certain
amount of time to contract to its normal size
and to eliminate any impurities. Inseminating
too early usually results in repeat attempts.
We recommend waiting a minimum of six
weeks following calving. The cow should
preferably have at least one heat phase after
calving and before the first insemination.
23
Holsetga
Tlf 95 02 ta 22, 2317
Ha
E-post 06 00 Fax 62 mar
: [email protected]
geno.no 52 06 01
Les me
r på ww
w.geno
.no
Forslag
til
26 m ai
16 ju ni
27
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...og o
m purk
er:
Norsv
in
Postboks
Tlf 62 51 504, 2304
Ha
E-post 01 00 Fax 62 mar
: norsv
[email protected] 51 01 01
in.no
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Stringy mucous with air sacs is a good sign that you
have chosen the right time to inseminate.
Order your heat calendar from the
Geno customer services centre:
Tel: + 47 950 20 600
Bleeding shows that the cow has been in heat.
Bleeding comes from the womb's mucous membranes 1-2 days after heat completion.
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It is often hard to determine when the heat
phase starts, but the general rule is:
1.Cows in heat in the morning should be
inseminated in the afternoon of the same
day or early the next day.
2.Cows in heat later in the day or evening,
should be inseminated the following day.
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Ku nr. 39
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e
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nye mul
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s for eks første
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4.In open barns and pastures, a small scrape
of the hair at the tail root will indicate
whether the cow is or has been on standing heat.
5.Check your notes and make new notes.
9 ju ni
Uke 24
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20
åler go
Er du
dt egne
int
persone eressert; ta
t både
ko
ll eller
i båsfjø
Geno ntakt med
Region
s og lø
kundes
Ge
Sør og
sdrift
enter: nos Heatime
Region
Vest Inger Hu
Midt og
-
28
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15
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Uke
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5
16
– brun
stovervå
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Aktiv
ed
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4
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Uke 29
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A good sign that a cow is in heat is when a cow lowers her lower back and lifts her tail. You can encourage
such behaviour by placing a hand on the cow's back or by gently whistling.
Uke 26
3
14
er 20
14
Studies show that using the heat calendar improves
fertility by several percent. Heat calendars are
available from Geno.
Ferskvann - okt. 2013
The organisation
Geno is a co-operative organisation owned by 10,500 Norwegian cattle farmers.
Geno conducts research and development for cattle breeding in Norway and the
production and distribution of genetic material.
Geno’s vision
Breeding for a better life!
Offices
Geno's head office is in Biohuset in Hamar.
Store Ree AI (Artificial Insemination) station is based in Stange in Hedmark.
Øyer testing station is in Øyer in Gudbrandsdalen.
Geno SA, Holsetgata 22, 2317 Hamar
Tel.: + 47 950 20 600
Email: [email protected]
Breeding
for better life
8
www.geno.no
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