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Heat Detection by Tail Painting


Heat detection is key to achieve your herd targets this breeding season. Most cows display signs of heat between the hours of 9pm and 7am so relying on observation alone to identify cows in heat could easily result in cows being missed. Tara Heaney, KT Walsh Scholar explains how tail painting helps

Heat detection is key for achieving your herd’s targets this breeding season. Most cows will display signs of heat between the hours of 9pm and 7am so relying on observation alone to identify cows in heat could easily result in cows being missed.

Tail paint is an easy and effective aide that can help you achieve a high heat detection rate. Once a cow in heat has been mounted, the paint will be rubbed off, making her easy to identify.

Tail paint should be applied in a narrow strip, 1.5-2 inches wide and approximately 9 inches in length along the tail head of the cow. It is important to continue topping up paint throughout the breeding season. Try not to apply too much paint at once as it could cause confusion as to whether paint has been rubbed off or not.

Tail paint can also help you detect non cycling cows as their paint will still remain. You can then take action with these cows and rectify the problem, giving them a chance to go in calf before the end of the breeding season.

Keep a record of cows that have been in heat and bred to help predict scanning and calving dates.

Watch Tara Heaney explain Heat Detection by Tail Painting below:

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Read more here on Breeding Management