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A cost-benefit analysis for a monitoring system to detect estrus in dairy cows



A cost-benefit analysis for a monitoring system to detect estrus in dairy cows



Journal of Dairy Science 58(5): 780-781



Cows in free and tie stall areas were studied during the first 80 days postpartum. Estrous detection in the tie stall cows was left to the herdsmen. Cows in free stalls were observed continually on a television system feeding into a slow speed videorecorder. All signs of estrus were ol;: >served. Blood samples, collected twice weekly from all cows, were assayed for progesterone to determine when ovulation occurred. Efficiency of estrous detection at the first, second, and third ovulations in tie and free stall cows were 16, 39; 50, 94; and 61, 100%. In general, use of the television system improved the accuracy of estrous detection. A cost-benefit analysis was then used to discover under what conditions its use would be economically feasible. Effects of changes in days open on the following factors were considered: (1) milk yield, (2) feed intake, (3) labor requirement at different herd sizes, (4) calf sales per unit time, (5) conception rate, and (6) other variable costs.

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