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Heat Detection

Libby Eiholzer, Bilingual Dairy
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

January 2, 2013

Watching cows for heat is a task that's often assigned to cow pushers, since they probably spend more time observing cows than anyone else on the dairy. They also spend time among cows during the night hours, when cows in heat tend to be most active. While their primary job is bringing cows to the parlor, they should understand just how important heat detection is.

Heat is the time period in which a cow can become pregnant if she is inseminated. It lasts from 6 to 30 hours, and the best time to breed is during the 12 hours of "true heat". If we waste an opportunity to breed a cow, we"ll have to wait 21 more days until the cow cycles into heat again. It's easy to waste many months in this way! On the other hand, breeding a cow that isn't in heat is a waste of semen.

There are many signs to help identify a cow in heat. The surest sign that a cow is in true heat is that she allows other cows to mount her. The secondary signs are shown sometimes by cows in true heat, but also when a cow is entering or leaving true heat. Some of these secondary signs are dirty flanks and a red and inflamed vulva with a clear mucous discharge. Cows in heat will also sniff the vulvas of other cows, bawl like a bull, walk faster, ride other cows, and give less milk than normal. The possibilities that a cow inseminated while entering or leaving true heat will become pregnant aren't very good, so it's worthwhile to pay close attention to cows that may be in heat.

Heat Detection   Detección de Celo
Look for cows in heat Busque vacas en celo
The vulva is red and swollen La vulva está rosada e inflamada
The vulva has a clear mucus discharge   La vulva tiene una descarga de moco claro
The cow allows other cows to mount her La vaca se deja montar 
Sniffs vulva of other cows Olfatea la vulva de otras vacas
Bawls like a bull Vocifera como un toro 

Detección de Celo 

Buscar vacas en celo es un trabajo muchas veces asignado a los arreadores de vacas, como ellos pasan más tiempo observando a las vacas que cualquier otra persona en la granja. También pasan mucho tiempo con las vacas durante la noche, cuando las vacas en celo están más activas. Aunque su trabajo principal es llevar las vacas a la sala de ordeño, es importante que entiendan que tan importante es identificar las vacas que están en celo.

El celo es una temporada en que una vaca puede quedarse preñada al inseminarla. Solamente dura unas 6 a 30 horas, y hay unas 12 horas en que es más recomendable inseminarla (el celo verdadero). Si gastamos una oportunidad para inseminar una vaca, tendremos que esperar 21 días hasta la vaca cicla al celo otra vez. ¡Así es posible gastar muchos meses! Al contrario, inseminar una vaca que no está en celo sería una pérdida de semen.

Hay varios signos para ayudarnos a identificar una vaca que está en celo. El signo más seguro del celo verdadero es que la vaca se deja montar por otras vacas. Los signos secundarios están mostrados a veces por vacas en calor verdadero, pero también cuando están entrando o saliendo del celo verdadero. Algunos de estos signos secundarios son los flancos sucios y una vulva rosada, inflamada y con una descarga de moco claro. Las vacas en celo también suelen olfatear la vulva o la orina de otras vacas, vociferar como un toro, caminar más rápido, montar a otras vacas y dar menos leche que normal. Las posibilidades de que una vaca inseminada cuando está entrando o saliendo del celo quedaría preñada no son muy altas, así que vale la pena poner mucha atención a las vacas que podrían estar en celo.











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Upcoming Events

Weed Resistance Management Demonstration and Plot Tour

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 23, 2019
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Waterloo, NY

Come join us on July 23 in Seneca County at Quinten Good's farm for a demonstration and walking tour of 16 different pre- and post-emergence treatments in soybean and 12 different treatments and combinations in corn.
  • Tall waterhemp and marestail are two weeds that are resistant to glyphosate and ALS herbicide modes of action in the WNY and Finger Lakes regions.
  • Each year the number of acres with resistant weed populations expands.
  • For herbicides to be an effective tool in weed management, we have to know what chemistries & application timings are most effective against these resistant weeds.

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Income and Real Property Tax Primer-A Learning Circle for Women Non-Operating Land Owners of Ag Land

July 24, 2019
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Portageville, NY

For many of us taxes can be a mystery, let's have a conversation with the experts about the tax considerations agricultural landowners need to think about. 
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Pasture Walk with the Finger Lakes Graziers-Cancelled!

July 29, 2019
12:45 - 4 pm

The Finger Lakes Graziers pasture walk has been cancelled due to some scheduling conflicts. 
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RMA Announces Additional One-time Changes to Prevented Planting Provisions

June 29, 2019

RMA Announces Additional One-time Changes to Prevented Planting Provisions
for 2019 Crop Year

In response to delayed and prevented planting resulting from above average rainfall and wetness, the USDA Risk Management Agency has made a one-time change to the 2019 crop year prevented planting rules that effectively allows silage corn, if planted as a cover crop following local agricultural expert guidelines, to be acceptable as a post-prevented planting cover crop. Under this one-time rule change, producers are allowed to produce this crop while retaining their prevented planting payment. This change couples with previously announced one-time changes to the prevented planting rules - including expanded acceptable uses for post-prevented planting cover crops and a change in the cover crop haying and grazing start date rule - serve to help those struggling to meet their forage needs due to the weather.

Read the full article from the New York Crop Insurance Education Program.

The USDA-RMA states that "For crop insurance purposes, a cover crop is a crop generally recognized by agricultural experts as agronomically sound for the area for erosion control or other purposes related to conservation or soil improvement." PRO-DAIRY specialists Joe Lawrence and Karl Czymmek and Dr. Quirine Ketterings, Professor and Director of Cornell Nutrient Management Spear Program have released a letter stating "Corn on Prevented Planting acres meets these objectives."

New Guidance for Mortality Disposal Issued

NYS Department of Ag and Markets has posted guidelines on disposal of livestock carcasses, in response to reports that some rendering companies have halted pickups from farms.|1