Artificial Insemination hasn’t traditionally been the main port of call for suckler farmers around the world for numerous reasons, but Moocall HEAT could change all of this.
Why? Because Moocall HEAT has a few distinct differences from other heat detection options out there.
These key differences make artificial insemination far more suitable to a beef suckler herd than ever before.
Traditional heat detection
Moocall HEAT requires either a teaser or stock bull which you attach an electronic collar to. You then tag all your cows and it tracks proximity over time to calculate when the cows are in heat. It then sends you an alert as they come in with an exact time.
In the regard that it uses a teaser bull it’s probably most similar to a chin ball, a ball full of paint you attach to a vas bull. You then look at the paint splatterings on the cow to see who he has been paying attention to.
However there are issues with this system:
If the ball runs out of paint, if the cows rub against one another, etc.
You will waste so much time looking at the cows yourself. Especially if they are in an enormous paddock or on the top of a hill or somewhere harder to get to than say, the inside of a shed.
As well as this, you’re unlikely to know exactly when these heats happened so it will make your AI less effective.
This isn’t an issue with Moocall HEAT as it works off the GSM network and requires very little signal to work.
When a heat IS detected, you will be alerted immediately along with a time when the heat occurred so you can plan your AI in line with the am/pm rule and maximise your conception rate.
The only labour you will need is tagging the cows, putting the collar on the bull, and taking the in-heat cow into the chute for insemination.
It can be hard to tell, especially from afar, which blotch of paint happened when, and depending on the bull, if any activity happened at all. Younger bulls tend to leave a mess.
Moocall HEAT removes human error from the equation. Our algorithm will tell you exactly what’s happening regarding heat detection. It even calculates due dates!
If you are using AI, you can reinvest the money you’re saving into more expensive straws to improve the genetic merit of your herd.
Electronic heat detection systems
Most other products on the market that detect heat electronically require the cattle to be in a restricted area to take a reading.
This may be convenient for dairy farmers who take their animals in twice a day for milking, but for a suckler beef farmer not so much. It’s creating labour costs where there needn’t be any.
Speaking of cost…
These systems can cost up to €10k, and come with features that just aren’t relevant to suckler beef farmers. These farmers also tend to have smaller margins and herd sizes that wouldn’t justify this sort of investment.
Moocall HEAT, while still a substantial investment of €1500, still costs much less than the other systems out there, and is more suitable to a beef suckler herd.
According to our calculations, investing in a Moocall HEAT can save you €980 in year one when you consider the price of the device and savings on missed heats, scans, AI, tail paint and labour.
By year two, you would be up €2110.
(these calculations are based on a herd size of 50 cows and heifers with one teaser bull)
Added benefits for suckler
One of the big problems that some (especially beef) bulls can encounter is overweight and subsequent laziness.
Bulls with a high BCS score can have the tendency to be lethargic and slow to breed. Moocall heat can pick up on this and tells you if your bull is injured, infertile or just plain lazy.
When official figures point out that 20% of all bulls aren’t performing optimally, early intervention could make a big difference in your pocket. According to teagasc, each missed heat in a suckler herd costs €149.
Opens up prospect of AI
Widespread use of AI isn’t on the radar of many suckler farmers, as it just hasn’t been a viable business option.
However, given all the reasons above, Moocall HEAT technology could change all of that.
Moocall HEAT lets you rotate between stock and teaser bulls at ease, so you can see if you like the system first, before transitioning fully into AI. It’s also handy for using a clean up bull after.