In a dairy, as in any other livestock breeding operation, high-quality semen is expensive and must be used optimally. This means the timing of the AI procedure is critical. To help them accurately determine the different stages of the oestrus cycle, South African dairy farmers now have a brand new, locally developed product, Bovine Heat Sheets, described as a breakthrough in oestrus detection in cows.
Conceived, developed and manufactured in Africa, the sheets are manufactured from a synthetic paper-like material consisting of natural paper fused to a polypropylene plastic film. Developed for South Africa’s diverse weather conditions, the sheets are durable and can withstand the stresses that cows in heat can apply. Using “heat patches” with a silver indication layer has proved to be 97% effective at detecting oestrus. The silver indicator layer has been vigorously tested to achieve the optimum resistance level, reducing the chance of a tail or branch producing a false reading.
Unlike similar products on the market, Bovine Heat Sheets have not been precut, allowing farmers to cut the sheets to suit their needs. Struan Anderson, who developed Bovine Sheets, recommends a patch of around 6cm x 10cm. The patches haven’t been coated with an adhesive – the glue comes separately because some animals require more of it than others, and also to prevent it from drying out. Bovine Heat Sheets come in four bright colours, so the cows in oestrus can be easily identified. They are available from selected agricultural co-ops, input suppliers and semen agents. A pack of 100 patches sells for around R650. – Chris Nel
Contact Auriel Mitchley on (011) 889 0796 or e-mail [email protected]. |fw