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23rd February, 2019

Scratch Cards & Chin Ball harness as an Aid in Heat Detection

On a farm visit in County Cork where a dairy farmer presented over 100 cows for reproductive assessment three weeks into his breeding programme.  He wanted to address late calving cows, the reproductive status of the cows which he had bred and early pregnancy diagnosis.  He then showed me a group of maiden heifers which were running with a teaser bull.  He made a point which I consider now very valid that the most accurate assessment of maiden heifers in heat is the use of scratch cards in conjunction with the chin ball harness on a teaser bull.  These two aids give close to 100% accuracy to the timing of heat in maiden heifers.