signs of a cow on heat

How to know when your cow is on heat-Signs

How do you tell your dairy cow is on heat? Oestrus is the period in the sexual cycle of dairy cows during which they are in heat. That is, ready to be served by a male or even through insemination.

Even though some of these signs are obvious, most farmers are unable to identify them leading to delays in serving. This means no calves and milk. But can a farmer have a cow which doesn’t show these symptoms? Yes. There are cows with silent heat. A cow with a silent heat doesn’t display any of the obvious signs.

A sub estrus or silent heat in cattle is defined as the lack of behavioural oestrus symptoms although the genital organs undergo normal cyclical changes.

The following are the sign of a dairy cow on heat.

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The animal on heat becomes very alert and restless with standing ears. Before and during heat, they remain standing and alert while their heard mates are lying down or resting.

Licking and sniffing other cows

Some dairy cows when in heat mat try sniffing the genitalia and licking the vulva of other cows. This may occur in cows in proestrus and estrus.

Reduce milk yield and feed intake

If it’s a lactating cow, the animal may be hard to be milked and may be cut from the usual production. Others do not eat or even drink water.

Mounting others

When on heat the cow starts by mounting on others. As time goes by, the animal may be mounted on by others but doesn’t stand. Then, it stands when mounted on what is known as standing heat. This is the best time for insemination. Read Also: How to formulate a cheap dairy meal

Mucus discharge

Due to high levels of estrogen, mucus is produced in the cervix and accumulates with other fluids in the virginal before, during and after estrus. Long viscous, clear elastic strands of mucus generally hang on the vulva. Sometimes the mucus may not appear until the cow is palpated during insemination.

Swelling and reddening of the vulva

The vulva swells with the interior becoming moist and red. This is a general symptom and may appear before the heat or remain for a short period after the heat. That is why it is not a precise indicator.

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