The most successful heat detection programs contain the three C's ...
Consistency refers to uniform chalking in each pen. Uniformity is especially critical on dairies where groups of breeders work together or alternate between satellite operations. Consistency means chalking each cow in one direction, using the chalk like an ink pen and not a battering ram, and applying enough chalk so the color is bright. When done with a pen, the breeder should be able to look down the row and see a consistent chalk color. They've then made finding heats the next day a little easier!
Concentration. I tell breeders over and over that they cannot have an "off day" when heat detecting. Their focus needs to be on each cow and whether they need to pay closer attention to her that day. With emphasis on giving cows more down time and out of the lockups, heat detectors can't afford to daydream. Concentrate, make good decisions and move on!
Commitment. When I work with new breeders, I give them a printout that sums up the components of good repro programs. On it, I comment that their responsibility to the program is to bring their "A game." This stems from a piece of advice given to me during my early years; the advice was to never drive out the driveway without thinking you did your best.Breeders who are truly committed to excelling at heat detection are not satisfied with only finding those "easy money" heats. If they haven't lifted a few tails or palpated a couple questionable cows, they are probably having an "off day."