Identification of ovulation in dairy cows has been one of the biggest challenges facing the dairy farmer. Much of the focus has been on identifying behavioural oestrus. However, although 97% of dairy cows have functioning ovaries, only 70% exhibit behavioural oestrus. Therefore, reliance on behavioural oestrus can mean ovulations are missed and insemination time poorly. This can lead to cows being marked as infertile and culled.

Despite the reliance of detecting behavioral oestrus, there is an alternative and more accurate way to detect ovulations. The monitoring of progesterone concentration can detect ovulations, pregnancy, and ovarian problems. The link between progesterone and the ovulation cycle has been well known since the 1970s, but current methods of measuring progesterone still tend to be time consuming or laboratory based.

Milkalyser offers fast, inline analysis of the progesterone concentration in milk to build an accurate picture of the ovulation cycle of each cow. This knowledge can inform the user of the optimal timing of insemination, and so increase the likelihood of a successful conception.

The relationship between progesterone concentration and the ovulation is shown in this figure. The green peaks represent ovulations and clearly correspond with drops in progesterone.

How Milkalyser works

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. Carefully designed algorithms mean that a reliable picture of each individual’s ovulation cycle can be produced. Milkalyser will bring the ability to provide precision, and certainty to decisions regarding fertility to every farm.

A brief history of milk progesterone monitoring 

If you’re interested in finding out more about Milkalyser, contact us here.