If conception fails after insemination, you incur losses due to repeat heats ranging between Ksh 4,000 and Ksh12,000, and lose valuable milking and calving time. Inaccurate insemination timing in cattle is frustrating. When you have many animals, knowing the perfect insemination time of each can be daunting.
A special visual-aid patch is simplifying this for farmers by showing the perfect time to inseminate their cows. Known as the A.I Tag Heat Detector, the grey patch detects the best time to get your cow served by changing its colour.
The A.I Tag is a pressure rub-off excellent Aid, with built in timing mechanism, activated by mounting activities. Mounting activates the patch at every stage of the heat cycle till the chevron colour image is about 95% visible. If the tags are applied and timely observed, there is zero chance of a false reading!
Dr Daniel Ogutu, a vet, from Mosocho A.I project, Kisii County, has used the patch with one of his farmers and was happy with the result.
“I had a farmer whose cows kept mounting each other and identifying the one with standing heat was challenging. By using the patch on both animals and we easily identified the one with standing heat. I inseminated it, and the cow is now 4 month in-calf,” said Dr Ogutu.
Larson Yuuna, an Animal Scientist, also used the patch on an animal at a farm in Makueni County. He tried the A.I heat detection tags and discovered that the heifer had silent heat and the farmer had been missing the signs all along. The cow is now 1.5 months in-calf.
How to apply the tag
Place the patch between the hip bones and the tail head area of the cow or heifer Prior to coming into heat. The patch reflects a bright
chevron-type image through the gray layer Rub Off after the first mounting, due to the rubbing pressure. Additional mounting increases image exposure, and displays the bright UV light reflection, which is easily seen for 24 hours. 90-95 per cent of the Chevron image visibility indicates that the animal is entering its ‘Peak’ heat cycle, and that is the best time to serve.
For best results, clean the animal, peel A.I Tag Rub-off heat indicator/detector off the liner and press in place. In highly fly infested areas, it is advisable to place the tag directly on top of the tail head so that the tail cannot reach it while wagging to keep off/avoid flies. Press while holding the ends of the patch down firmly for 4 to 5 seconds. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
Apply the patch from the 18th day after insemination date and monitor to day 25. Detectors remaining the same indicate no mounting, thus no return of heat cycle. The patch can be used by both small and large-scale dairy and beef farmers, and producers, and is valuable to every A.I Technician.