Getting cows pregnant is a critical process that impacts nearly every aspect of a dairy operation. Many steps are involved in getting a cow through a safe calving, returning her to a positive energy balance and preparing her to once again become pregnant. While traditional reproduction management practices like visual heat detection and timed artificial insemination are commonly used, more and more dairy producers are relying on activity monitoring systems like Allflex® Advanced Dairy Monitoring for successful reproduction in their herds.
By monitoring cow activity, Allflex customers can know exactly when a cow’s activity deviates from normal activity, which is an indicator of when cows are in estrus and ready to be bred. There is no need for visual heat observation, and because the timing of the increased activity is known, producers can plan insemination when the cow is most likely to conceive. This significantly improves heat detection accuracy as well as conception rate, leading to an overall improvement in pregnancy rate.
“We’ve seen a huge increase in our preg rate. Our conception rate has gotten a lot better. Everything is in line,” says Joe Sozinho of Sozinho Dairy, Hanford, Calif.
In several instances where the Allflex activity monitoring system was implemented on dairies, the use of timed A.I. has either been significantly reduced or eliminated altogether. With activity monitoring, producers know exactly which and when cows are in heat and the optimal time for insemination naturally, reducing reliance on synchronization programs to cycle all cows in the herd. And because they don’t have to be handled to administer the synchronization products, cows are free to go about their business in the barn without interruption.
“It eliminates us being in the pens with the animals more time than is necessary. So they’re truly relaxing, they’re comfortable,” says Ben Jones of Trillium Hill Farm, located in Berlin, Wis.
Reports generated from the Allflex activity monitoring system help simplify reproductive management:
- Advanced Heat Index – enhances heat detection and reduces false positives during pregnancy, decreasing checks for possible abortions
- Specific cow lists – creates reports for ‘Cows to Inseminate’ and ‘Cows in Heat’ based on the herd’s voluntary waiting period
- Daily task list – identifies cows in heat that need insemination
- Reports on cystic or anestrus cows – effectively manage cows with reproductive challenges
Using Allflex activity monitoring technology can lead to a beneficial return on investment in a short period of time. A reduced dependency on timed A.I. means less money spent on synchronization products and improved animal welfare from fewer shots and less handling. Labor savings can also be significant, even just based on visual heat systems where time normally devoted to watching heats can be spent completing other, more productive tasks.
To learn more about how activity monitoring can improve your dairy herd’s reproduction, visit www.AllInOnAllflex.com to find educational resources and complete a “learn more” form at the base of the page.