Heat, or "estrus," is the period when the mature female animal is fertile and can be mated. Check the animals for heat when they are resting. Do this early in the morning and in the afternoon. Check again before the animal rests at night.
Look carefully for the following signs of heat.
· The female stands still when she is mounted by another animal (male or female). You can see this happen if the female is untied and allowed to go freely with other animals.
The female stands still when she is mounted by another animal (male or female).
· Clear mucus comes out of the
vulva. It often looks like a string hanging from the vulva.
· The vulva is moist and swollen.
A cow in heat
· The animal is restless. A cow in heat bellows frequently. Sheep and goats waggle their tails constantly.
· Dairy animals are difficult to milk and production of milk decreases.
· Heat can be difficult to detect in buffaloes. Look for frequent urination. The only sure way to detect heat in buffaloes is to present a male to the female and see if he mounts her.
When you see that the animal is in heat, mate it immediately. If the animal does not become pregnant on the first try, mate it twice within 12 hours at the next heat.
Some cows bleed from the vulva at the end of the heat period. This is a sign that the heat period has been missed so there is no point trying to mate her again until the next heat.
Lack of heat
Sometimes a female does not show any signs of heat even though she is not pregnant.
· Loss of weight due to poor
· Mineral deficiency.
· Intestinal worms.
· Chronic disease.
· The animal has just given birth.
· The animal is lactating heavily.
· Lack of contact with male
· Improve feeding, especially of mineral-rich feeds (see Feeding, page 108).
· Regularly deworm the animals (see Internal parasites, page 38).
· Allow the female to stay with a male animal. In Sri Lanka, some stock raisers keep an infertile but sexually active "teaser" male with their female animals to detect heat or to bring the females into heat.
If the female does not come into heat despite improved management, try one of the following treatments. The dosages are for adult cattle. Use half the dosages given below for sheep and goats.
· Crush 20 seeds from ripe fruits of Couropita guianensis (cannon ball). Mix the powder with 1 liter of water and drench the entire amount once a day for 15 days. Give half of this dose once a day for another 3 days and then ¼ of the dose each day for the next 3 days.
· Dry in the shade and then
powder 1 whole plant of Leptadenia reticulata (cork swallow). Put 20 g
(1 matchbox) of the powder on top of the animal's regular feed so she eats it with the first mouthful. Or make a bolus of the powder in brown sugar and feed it to the animal. Give this twice a day for 30 days.
If a male is not sexually active, treat it as follows.
· Rest the male animal and feed him with protein-rich feeds (see section on Feeding).
· Dry and pound: I whole plant of Sida cordifolia (country mallow), some mature seeds of Mucuna pruriens (cow-witch) and the roots of Asparagus racemosus. Take 20 g of each of the powdered ingredients and mix them with enough brown sugar to form a bolos. Feed to the animal twice a day for 15 days. (India. 1, 3, 4, 5)
Treatment for males not sexually active