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In context of the study farmers using an automated activity monitoring (AAM) system called Heatime were surveyed on estrus detection practices. The aim of the study was to gain an overview of the usual estrus detection methods and especially to learn about the practical aspects of that system.
Items addressing farm and animal environment, estrus detection before and after installation of Heatime, reproduction, Heatime management and the farmer's perception of efficiency were asked.
A total of 232 survey forms were returned (58.3% response rate) and 219 surveys could be used for final analysis. Visual observation was the most common practice to detect estrus. After installation of the Heatime system the farmers assessed that the application of hormones for reproduction management decreased. The majority of the responding dairy farmers (93.1%) strongly agreed or agreed that heat detection was higher after the installation of Heatime. Most of them (92.3%) strongly agreed or agreed with the statement that the reproduction management became easier with Heatime.
Overall, 94.1% of the responding farm managers were satisfied with the Heatime system and almost all of them (94.5%) would install the system again. Clinical relevance: The results show that the Heatime system is a well accepted estrus detection aid and has the potential to reduce the time needed for estrus detection and might potentially reduce the use of hormones.