At the pre-breeding stage we want to ensure cows are fit for breeding with early identification of metabolic issues. Cows start cycling 2 - 3 weeks post-partum but 90% of these heats are silent, HerdInsights detects these heats, identifies cystic and non-cycling cows. Early intervention ensures cows that are eligible become pregnant quicker, so during the pre-breeding period the 3 key focus areas should be:

“By HerdInsights monitoring my cows for sickness and estrus from when the cows calf it gives me a chance to get in earlier and solve any issues I have so when I start breeding I know I am not wasting straws as I know all my cows can become pregnant” – James McArdle, 200 health monitors


It is at this stage we need to take time to check and work towards reducing the incidence of clinical and subclinical disease within the herd as these will have a negative effect on production and fertility.


Diseases are divided into clinical such as mastitis, lameness, milk fever, retained placenta, or displaced abomasum, but there are also subclinical diseases which can be more difficult to identify.

The duration of these diseases can be quite short, but the effects may persist through the entire lactation, and the incidence of these diseases can have a profound effect on the number of days it takes to get cows pregnant. 


On most farms a proportion of cows will be anoestrours (i.e. not displaying behavioural heat) at the start of the breeding period.


Most cows should display behavioural heat 38 - 47 days post calving, failure to show signs of heat by 60 days after calving is called postpartum anoestrus which can be due to true anoestrus or subestrus.

How does HerdInsights help?
  • Generate a list of cows pre breeding that are not cycling relative to their calving date

  • HerdInsights highlights the calving to first heat period.


Cystic ovarian disease (COD) in cows is usually seen in the first two months post calving. Major categories of cysts include follicular cysts, luteinized follicular cysts and cystic corpora lutea.


Abnormal estrous behaviour patterns are the most noticeable sign of cystic ovarian disease.  This includes persistent oestrus, shortened oestrus intervals or failure to cycle (anoestrus). Anoestrus is by far the most common sign.

How does HerdInsights help?

HerdInsights detects both follicular and luteal cysts.  is an example of a cow with a follicular cyst. Repeated estrus behaviour is observed approximately every 10 days. Early intervention of cystic cows within a herd enables earlier intervention pre-breeding, an increase in submission rates and ultimately more cows pregnant quicker.

  • HerdInsights, with a 96% estrus detection rate, is very effective in determining when a cow is not cycling.

  • HerdInsights generates a report of all non-cycling cows relative to their DIM. This report will identify those problematic cows prior to your breeding commencement date which, again, will enable earlier intervention pre-breeding rather that at the end of your breeding period!

This early intervention can save a culled cow……….what is a culled cow worth to you?