The objective of this study was to evaluate estrous detection using a physical activity and rumination monitoring system in a seasonal calving organic grazing (GRAZ) and a low-input conventional (ZEROGRAZ) dairy herd. The study was conducted from June 2014 to August 2017. During each breeding season, physical activity and rumination were monitored electronically using an activity and rumination monitoring system (HR-LD tags; SCR Engineers Ltd., Netanya, Israel). Signals resulting from the activity and rumination monitoring system for individual cows were used to determine consistency of the values using this system with the breeding date of cows. Breeding dates were determined using EstrotectTM patches. The study included 1,463 breeding dates from 531 cows. Within the GRAZ herd, during the summer breeding season the monitoring system was less sensitive for estrous detection (33.8 %) than during the winter breeding season (79.8 %).The activity and rumination monitoring system had a sensitivity of 56.7 %, specificity of 99.3 % and positive predictive value of 59.8 % for the GRAZ herd, and sensitivity of 70.1 %, specificity of 99.2 % and positive predictive value of 66.3 % for the ZEROGRAZ herd. For cows that were determined to be pregnant and subsequently calved as a result of the mating, the sensitivity for estrous detection was slightly greater for the GRAZ (60.7 %) and ZEROGRAZ (72.5 %) herds. The activity and rumination monitoring system evaluated in this study has potential for estrous detection in grazing herds during the winter breeding season and in small-input dairy herds during both, winter and summer breeding seasons.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative [grant no. 2012-51300-20015 /project accession no. 0230589] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture .
- Activity monitoring
- Estrous detection
- Seasonal calving
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article