At the end of the day, you are tail painting as a means of detecting heat as early as possible in the breeding season. A successful breeding programme leads to:
Superior herd genetics
Increased milk yields
Missing one heat in one cow costs the Irish dairy farmer €250 in lost milk production and costs. Can you afford not to be the best you can be at heat detection?
The Heat Detection Journey
You tail paint to detect the onset of oestrous, which frees you from sitting in a field with your cows morning, noon, and night and doesn't burden you with high costs of an electronic system.
Start looking for signs of heat in the field, and keep making notes as you see each cow. By the time you reach the farm yard you should have a pretty good idea of the cows that are on heat.
As each one enters the milking parlour, take note of those that should be drafted for AI, and those that could use a top up of tail paint. One of the key advantages of Tailpainter is that you can easily top up paint from the milking parlour pit: no more climbing on rails, it adds no time to the milking!
The Four Colour System
The four-colour system was pioneered in New Zealand, where tail painting is by far the most commonly used method of heat detection. Using our recommended breeding protocol, you will be able to:
Learn the status of any cow at a glance
Detect and treat potential problems as early as possible
A printer-friendly version of this chart for download can be found here.