For dairy producer James Hancock, timing was everything.
Just over five years ago, Hancock took control of the breeding program at Prairie View Dairy in Muleshoe, Texas. He found that changes needed to be made — fast.
“We had some problems in our breeding program,” Hancock said. “We had some issues where things were being forgotten and we could no longer track what we wanted. Our numbers started to fall precipitously. It was getting kind of dangerous for us.”
After doing research and speaking with professionals across the industry, all signs pointed to SenseHub Dairy monitoring (formerly known as SCR Dairy). He committed to the monitoring technology, collared over 3,000 cows and adjusted his protocols based on the data he started receiving.
Just in time.
“Our breeding turned completely around,” Hancock said. “We went from borderline bad to just about as good as I’d ever seen.
“Even setting aside the health improvements, the breeding alone paid for the entire system within a year.”
And that was just from monitoring insights.
It turns out timing also matters a great deal when using reproductive hormones — like ESTRUMATE®, a cloprostenol injection from Merck Animal Health. Two recent studies revealed how SenseHub Dairy monitoring technology can be complementary and advantageous to hormone usage1.
In one study with 1,016 heifers, SenseHub Dairy monitoring collars were used to accurately detect estrus and show that prostaglandin products given between 13 and 23 days resulted in a higher average conception rate than at any other time in the estrus cycle. The second study with 186 heifers, also fitted with SenseHub Dairy collars, found that a single injection of ESTRUMATE improved ovarian responses in heifers, with more effective luteolysis (luteal regression), shorter interval to estrus and higher ovulation rates compared to a single injection of LUTALYSE.
These two studies show how monitoring technology can be an effective and complementary tool to determine optimal timing for hormone products and maximize fertility. For producers looking for peak reproductive efficiency, the best results can come when monitoring technology is used in a compounding way that promotes administering hormones to the right cows at the right time.
“I spent a lot of time in our breeding program trying to make sure that our cows are the best that they possibly can be,” Hancock said. “Monitoring has been one of our better investments that I've seen thus far.
“We went from breeding for four hours to breeding in an hour and a half. That's a lot of time that we cut down on having cows locked up. And the less time they're locked up, the more milk you're making.”
SenseHub Dairy monitoring and hormone products from Merck Animal Health boost reproductive efficiency to a whole new level. Want to see what it can do for your herd? Then visit SenseHub-Dairy.com to hear more producer stories and learn about the full capabilities of the leading monitoring provider.
1The full research study is on file and available upon request.
SenseHub Dairy is the leading provider of monitoring solutions that empower users to safeguard their animal’s health and well-being, while achieving optimal production outcomes for a healthy food supply. SenseHub Dairy operates fully within Merck Animal Health. Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals®, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians and farmers one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. Learn more about how dairy monitoring can empower your operation by visiting SenseHub-Dairy.com.