Missed Heats

What are Missed Heats in Cows?

A missed heat is when a cow does not come into heat as expected – also called sub-optimal fertility. This can pose a significant cost to the farm, impact calving intervals and lead to the loss of good animals.

Symptoms of Missed Heats in Cows

  • Cows should resume normal heats 30-40 days after calving, with the first heat normally being a silent heat.
  • It is best practice to wait for a minimum of one cycle before attempting to put the cow in calf.
  • Missed heats are when the cow does not come back into heat as expected.

Causes of Missed Heats in Cows

  • A major contributor to poor fertility in herds is missed heats, this results in a low submission rate and leads to decreased 6-week calving rate, a longer calving interval and more cows lost from the herd.
  • Visual aids have not been used e.g. tail painting.
  • Electronic aids have not been used e.g. temperature monitors / on cow devices.

Problems from Missed Heats in Cows

  • Fertility issues normally arise when cows do not go into heat (cycling) or have silent heats.
  • Calving interval increases.
  • Cost increased by non-productive animals in the herd.

Missed Heats in Cows – Solutions

  • If the cow is suffering from a compromised immune system, this can affect cycling and appropriate medical intervention is a must.
  • Cow condition should also be assessed to determine if cows are under or over-conditioned and appropriate diet changes need to occur. Maintenance requirements for both energy and protein increase significantly for cows after calving and producers need to be aware of these changing nutrient needs.
  • In addition to energy and protein requirements, the basic vitamin and mineral needs for your cows are vital to not just their overall health, but also their reproductive health.
  • Providing high-quality trace mineral and vitamin supplementation is research-proven to improve reproductive efficiency.
  • Phosphorus, calcium, copper, cobalt, iodine, selenium, zinc, vitamin E and manganese are all involved in a successful reproduction cycle and are essential for optimising cow fertility.
  • For example, silent heats in the herd are linked to deficiencies in copper and manganese.
  • To ensure strong heats in cows, it is vital to balance mineral requirements and feed an appropriate level of minerals.
  • This will help ensure all cows are serviced on time and increase the chances of cows going in calf.
  • Products that can help with this are our Fertility mineral blend.

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