The Livestock Institute studied the impact of using heat detection devices on 56 Normandy farms to see if the technology lived up to the promises made by producers. The device saves up to 17 days of IVV in herds with degraded performance, but the effect is almost zero in breeders who already inseminate their cows soon after calving.
“Except for the tool manufacturers’ arguments, no studies have looked into itthe evolution of reproductive performance herds with heat detection equipment », presents Fabrice Bidan, reproduction project manager at the Livestock Institute, during a presentation during the 3R days.
A significant effect in case of degraded performance
“The impact of buying a heat detector is much more prominent on herds benefiting from degraded reproductive performance, due to the size of the space for improvement”, explains the expert. Flocks exhibiting a calving-to-fertilization interval greater than 135 days without a detector thus gained 17.7 days of IVV, going from 437.8 days on average to 420.1. The calving to fertilization interval also decreased from 141.6 days to 125.6 days.
It has little effect if there is no room for improvement
In herds with a fertile mating interval – AI between 120 and 134 days, a decrease in IVV of 9.6 days was observed. In this case, “the improvement in fertility in number of days is half that of previous herds”, observes Fabrice Bidan. Flock with the best breeding resultswith a calving-fertilization interval of less than 120 days indicate a 3.6 days decrease in IVV. “It has little effect if there is no room for improvement. This type of device is particularly interesting for the identification of discrete heat and to help when you are not satisfied with the detection of heat, “confirms Fabrice Bidan. In this case, using a heat detector is more of a choiceWork organizationthat performance improvement.
Flocks with between 65 and 99 litters benefited the most from heat detector implementation, with a significant reduction in IVV of 16.5 days, compared to only -5.7 days IVV for flocks with more than 100 litters. In this case, the heat detector can help pass a ” threshold effect critical where the workforce would not be sufficient in relation to the number of animals to be monitored”.
Detection problem or fertility problem?
Equipment can improve breeding performance when the breeder struggles to identify heat, but there are no action on fertility of the animal.
Thus, for Fabrice Bidan, the purchase of equipment is generally placed in a global approach ofimproved reproductive performance. Of the 19 dairy farmers who bought the equipment, all together had improved their farming practices. “We can mention many levers, such as the evolution of the ration, the increase of the workforce dedicated to the monitoring of the reproduction, the strict management of the renewal or even the more precise monitoring of the herd”, observes Fabrice Bidan. In this context, it is difficult to isolate the influence of the spawn detector and other activated levers.