Wed, Jul 03, 2013 - Page 3 News List

COA’s new system detects when cows ‘in mood for love’

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Council of Agriculture’s (COA) Livestock Research Institute yesterday said it has developed an estrus cycle detection system to ascertain when dairy cows are most receptive to mating, allowing farmers to improve breeding management on their farms.

The institute said dairy farmers must often deal with the problem of cows’ estrus periods becoming shorter or more unpredictable due to the hot weather during the summer.

The estrus cycle consists of recurring endocrine changes induced by reproductive hormones that preclude a cow’s optimal breeding period. Therefore, an erratic cycle makes managing their breeding more difficult and also reduces the amount of milk farms produce during the season.

To take advantage of the bovines’ ideal mating period, which is usually shortly after their estrus cycle, many dairy farmers have to constantly watch their herd’s behavior to determine when the period has ended, the institute said.

With the help of the council’s information center, the institute said it began developing an “intelligent” estrus detection system for dairy cows in 2009, which can detect when a cow is entering its estrus cycle and collects data for analysis.

The system allows dairy farmers to receive information about their cattle’ s estrus status while away from their farms and also helps them better understand the estrus periods of their herds through the collated data.

The system works primarily by picking up the frequency of the bovines’ steps, which usually increase during their estrus period, the institute said.

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