LIC | Pre-Mating Heats

Pre-Mating Heats


Use them to:


  • Hone heat detection skills
  • Train new staff in the application, maintenance, and interpretation of aids
  • Identify non-cycling cows and treat early
  • Record heats to make informed decisions during mating 
  • Check tail paint weekly pre-mating if daily is too hard and note the IDs for cows with rubbed paint
  • Don’t forget that you will need to touch up the tail paint, at least twice weekly especially if cows are shedding
  • Use it as a training opportunity for new staff, including in automated drafting systems

Cycling & Submission Targets


Cycling & Submission Targets

Why do pre-mating heats?

Maximising 3-week submission rate with accuracy is an essential part of achieving high 6-week in-calf rates. Use pre-mating heats to identify and address possible heat detection issues before mating start date (MSD) rolls around and missed heats become expensive; use pre-mating heat detection to get everyone focussed and proficient.

Monitoring pre-mating heats can provide an early heads up on the number of non-cyclers you can expect come MSD. Non-cycling cows rob you of precious early season matings. The earlier you can identify non-cycler issues the more options and time you have to manage them and gain the best return through more early days in milk and AB replacements next season. Read about non-cyclers, different options and costs at

How to do pre-mating heats?

Monitor heats about 4-5 weeks before MSD. Apply tail paint of one colour (e.g. red) to all calved cows 4-5 weeks before MSD, and continue to paint late calvers as they calve.

As you notice the tail paint has been removed, reapply different-coloured tail paint to the cows that have cycled. By the time it’s 1-2 weeks out from MSD the cows that are still tail painted red are the at-risk group that may end up as non-cyclers.

Where to record pre-mating heats?

  • Record heats on paper, and make sure to record the heat date and cow ID
  • Record heats in the MINDA app
  • Protrack™ farmers can enter heat events in the shed as they occur 

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