Animart Legend Heat Detection System

The Legend Heat Detection System from Animart was awarded a place in the Dairy Herd Management top 10 innovative products of 2011. Charlotte Johnston, TheCattleSite editor finds out more about the product.
calendar icon 17 November 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

Why use electronic heat detection systems?

Good pregnancy rates (PR) are dependent on the rate of conception and the heat detection rate. Conception rate (CR) is the proportion of cows that are inseminated and become pregnant (US dairy herd average is 40 per cent).

And the heat detection rate (HDR) is the rate of heat detection in a 21 day period (national average is about 40 per cent). The national average herd PR is approximately 16 per cent (0.40 CR X 0.40 HDR=0.16 PR). So by improving detection of heat, a producer will improve their pregnancy rate.

Many farms are using heat synchronization programmes to regulate estrus in their cattle. These programmes work well but are dependent on staff that will give the proper injection at the right time.

Failures of heat synchronization program typically are due to poor client compliance. In addition to heat synchronization programmes, others depend on visual observation by employees for heat detection. Again problems will occur if employees are busy doing other tasks while doing heat detection or if the observer is unfamiliar with the signs of a cow coming into heat, in standing heat, and going out of heat.

Conventionally, the timing of insemination should be based on the onset of standing estrus, i.e., inseminated about 12 hours after onset of estrus.

There are several brands of electronic heat detection systems available that are used to automatically monitor the movement of cattle. Most systems involve the use of a cow tag, receiver (that collects data from the tags on the cow) and a computer program on a farm laptop.

About Legend Heat Detection System

Detecting accurate heat before breeding is critical for sustaining a successful reproductive programme, according to Dr Armon Hetzel, veterinarian with ANIMART’s ProHealth Team. To help identify the optimum time when a cow comes into heat, ANIMART has introduced the Legend Heat Detection System.

This new radio-automated heat detection system uses the Track a Cow pedometer to monitor cow activity in real time and transmit data to receivers positioned in the pens.

Legend Heat Detection System's Track a Cow pedometer is not only the smallest tag (only weighing 2.65 ounces) in electronic heat detection systems, but it is also the only long-range leg tag (ranging 500 feet). Through the system's software, data is gathered in real time every six to seven minutes and then sent to an on-farm computer from which reports and graphs can be created.

Reports can be generated showing the status of the animals (dry off date, heat date and pregnancy diagnosis). Data identfies cows that are on heat, ready for service and those suspected to be in heat. A standing/ lying ratio helps identify other possible health issues such as lameness and mastitis.

Legend Heat Detection System improves the ability to identify the cows that are in heat by establishing a baseline of activity and alerting producers to abnormal spikes.

The pedometer is positioned on the front leg. Dr Richard Ernsberger said that by placing the pedometer on the front leg, rather than the back leg, one to two per cent more activity can be monitored. Placing the pedometer on the leg, rather than the neck sees a 10 per cent activity gain.

Animart says that the typical return on investment is around one and a half years, benefitting producers with less days open, increased pregnancy rates, more cows producing milk, decreased use of drugs ad semen and less labour for farm staff management.

November 2011
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