Reproduction is one of the most important processes on any dairy farm, affecting both production and economic efficiency. However, in recent decades reproductive efficiency has declined caused by a range of factors. One major factor is the efficiency of oestrous detection, and this can have a serious impact on the effectiveness of fertility management practices.
Reproduction and fertility management has been the topic of extensive scientific research. However, translating research performed in laboratories onto farms is often difficult. This is where Milkalyser comes in, our technology is based on cutting edge scientific research but is designed in collaboration with farmers, providing the best possible solution to fertility management.
The oestrous cycle
For a short part of the oestrous cycle cows enter a fertile period called oestrous (heat), during which they exhibit behaviours associated with breeding. Behavioural oestrus can be monitored in order to help time insemination. However, this is becomingly increasingly difficult due with these behaviours becoming less clear and with changes to farm management.
As well as behavioural changes, cows also undergo hormonal changes during oestrous. The changes in these hormones can be reliably measured and provides an accurate way of detecting oestrus.
Progesterone is one of several hormones which regulates the oestrous cycle in cows. Throughout the cycle the concentration of progesterone changes, with a characteristic drop just prior to oestrous. Following ovulation progesterone rises again producing a distinctive profile.
Understanding a cows progesterone profile can accurately identify oestrus, and help predict ovulation. In addition, progesterone profiles can also be used to identify pregnant cows, and those which may have reproductive issues.
The gold standard
For several decades, accurate progesterone monitoring could only be achieved in specialist laboratories. However, progesterone monitoring has become the gold standard of oestrus detection, and is often used to validate other oestrus detection methods such as collars.
However, recent advancements in sensor technologies have transformed the process into a simple and accurate on farm test. Milkalyser completely automates this on farm progesterone test, and brings the gold standard of oestrus detection on to farms.
Milkalyser measures the progesterone concentration in milk using a carefully developed, fully integrated system. The patent protected system is the consequence of a number of years of development by founder, Professor Toby Mottram. As progesterone sensors and electronic components have advanced in recent years, the development of Milkalyser has also advanced to the final stages of production.
Milkalyser can be retro-fitted to existing robotic milking machines with minimal tools and time. A revolutionary technology, Milkalyser will bring scientific precision and accuracy to in dairy herd fertility management.