Validation of a new method of visual oestrus detection on the farm

L. Heres, S.J. Dieleman, F.J.C.M. van Eerdenburg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Since visual observation is the most commonly used way of detecting oestrus and is supposed to be as effective as detection with technical devices, we evaluated a recently developed oestrus detection scoring system in daily dairy practice. In this scoring system nine signs of oestrus are scored with points, ranging 3 to 100. Twenty-one dairy farmers used the scoring system during a period of 3 weeks. All cows that were more than 30 days post partum and not confirmed pregnant were monitored, using the scoring system, by the herd owners. Oestrus was confirmed by measuring progesterone concentrations in milk. With the scoring system a detection rate of 47% was achieved. This was lower than expected, because in an earlier control period, the detection rate was 64%. We concluded that this new method might be too complicated to introduce to normal herd management, because in daily practice it is too demanding to watch cows twice a day for 30 minutes, especially if the cows show only vague and infrequent symptoms of oestrus. It also appeared to be too complicated to watch the herd at the most appropriate time. However, if the scoring system is included in the daily routine, meaning that farmers are trained to watch for other symptoms than standing heat only and are able to recognize their different values, it can be a valuable aid to oestrus detection.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)50-55
    JournalVeterinary Quarterly
    Volume22
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2000

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