determining heat

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Hovey Hollow, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    Ok, I know I should know this but I don't. How do you determine when a cow is in heat? We've got a bull/steer (he's cryptorchid--we never castrated him but he's got absolutley nothing there) but he never shows any interest in our cow. I know if you've got other cows that they will mount the one in heat, but if you don't have other cows (or at least none that are interested) then how do you tell? We also have a 6 month old heifer calf, but I'm assuming she is too young to help us determine heat. When the previous owner had her bred for us she always knew when she was in heat.
    Are their behavioral signs I need to be watching for, or some specific anatomical sign? This Dexter cow is loud and obnoxious alot (like most of the time) and I haven't really noticed a pattern.
    I've found a bull for her but they don't have any way to house her so we just need to bring her to visit for the day and then take her home.
     
  2. JulieLou42

    JulieLou42 Well-Known Member

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    Scratch her brisket every day. If she tries to jump up, she's there.
     

  3. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

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  4. Tiffin

    Tiffin Well-Known Member

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    Our Dexter heifer would only be loud when she was in heat. Since we wanted to AI her we had to watch her very carefully and keep track of her heats which turned out to be every 19 days. We do have a steer and he acts like he is a bull when she is in heat: mounting her, stays very close, sniffing. The other thing she would do is stand around and be very restless. Very little laying down. This would last about 12 - 18 hours. She has been AI'd and we are assuming she is bred because we haven't seen her in heat now for 3 cycles.
     
  5. DJ in WA

    DJ in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I suppose the simplest thing to do would be to ask the previous owners what signs of heat she showed. Some cows have more silent heats, less behavioral signs. I don’t know when you got her, but I hope they didn’t sell her because she wouldn’t come into heat.

    I’ve got a cow and heifer, and it was very obvious when one was in heat. Wild lovemaking all day or night, not leaving each other alone. Only question was timing for the breeding, which should be end of, or after the standing heat (last phase of heat). Website Bobg gave has a nice timeline for timing of breeding.

    I was worried we were too late, but both took. One was bred 10 hours after I last saw her stand to be mounted (AI guy couldn’t come til next morning). Anyway, I learned that later is better than earlier. So, if you see her coming in heat, no need to rush off to the bull.

    Other than the behavioral signs, there should be long clear strands of mucus from the vagina early in heat. With tail swishing, it can get wrapped around the tail. I saw this sign just about every heat. After heat and ovulation, there will be some blood discharged also, which I usually saw.

    Even if your bull/steer isn’t interested, in most cases, she should want to mount him (or anybody) if she’s in heat.

    With no behavioral or physical signs of heat, you might consider getting her checked by a vet to see if there’s a problem, or if she could benefit from some shot to get her cycling.
     
  6. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    I doubt there is a problem with her not coming into heat. When I purchased her I wanted her bred so the owner had her bred for me and she took right away. That was her fourth calf. That calf is now 7 months old and I want to have her bred again, so now I've got to learn what to look for. I think I've just been oblivious. I'm going to start watching for it now. Thanks!
     
  7. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    What I would do, is find a vet who has some CIDR's handy. Put a CIDR in for 7 days, give a shot of lute the day you remove the CIDR, for example.


    Say you put the CIDR in on Friday morning, you remove it the following friday morning, then give her a shot after you remove it, the same morning (generally as soon as you remove it). In about 2-3 days she will be in heat, and usually it is a strong heat. Breed her, and I suggest using GnRh with this method. I have so far with the use of GnRh, and CIDR's, ones who have been checked. A 100% Conception Rate. When I didn't use a CIDR, I didn't see the same results. CIDR's are inserted into the Vagina, so when I mean put in a CIDR, thats where it goes.

    Some like to take a super natural approach, but when your questioning her heats, and want to catch her. The CIDR route works extremely well. Actually, using lute by itself might work, but with a CIDR, there isn't any guess work, or any double shots. Some programs go along the lines of this > Give a shot of lute, wait for estrus, wait 5 days, give another shot. More or less your using twice as much lute. While the CIDR actually "primes" their reproductive system. It holds it in "limbo", and when you remove the CIDR, it causes a drop in Progesterone, which signals a heat. The lute gives it a bigger effect. Anyone who I have talked with, who has used them, really likes the results. One little thing, when having her AI'ed. Make sure you tell the AI tech you used a CIDR, and want a sheath on the gun. Because CIDR's do cause infection. Also as a side note, if you did use one. Make sure you wash her vulva off nice and clean, before inserting it. If you do this, she wont get much of an infection. It doesn't hurt her in the long term, just have the AI tech take the proper measures so it wont hurt her. I am using them on all of my 2nd breedings, and I like how it works. It is the best way to synchronize IMO.


    Jeff