AustraliaIn PracticeHeat Detection

Heat Detection

Increasing your 6 week in-calf rate is one of the best ways to improve productivity and profitability on your dairy farm.


The main benefits of a tighter 6 week calving pattern include:

  • More milk earlier
  • Cows recover sooner
  • Cycle sooner
  • Quality cycles sooner – with more AI cycles and reduced empties


Top farmers achieve a 6 week in-calf rate of around 75% and the industry target is 78%. The national average is 65%. (source: DairyNZ).


Accurate heat detection is a key factor in achieving a tight calving pattern.


What is heat detection?

The most critical aspect of the entire breeding programme is identifying every day those cows that are exhibiting heat behaviour. This represents a major success for the entire seasonal production system.


The challenges, however, with current heat detection methods such as tail paint, kamars, scratchies and neck collars or anklets, include:

  • Untrained labour
  • High labour requirements
  • Retention of detection devices
  • Accuracy of devices.

Gallagher's Flashmate® Electronic Heat Detector - addresses all of these challenges and adds value beyond just heat detection.


Boost your farm’s productivity with Gallagher’s Flashmate Electronic Heat Detector

Flashmate® Electronic Heat Detector is a new disposable electronic heat alert product that when applied monitors riding activity 24/7 and works out when a cow is in standing heat.


How it works
Based on hundreds of hours of research, the smarts inside Flashmate are looking for specific patterns of riding activity such as frequency, number and length.

Cows fitted with Flashmate.jpg 

Heat Pattern Detected - FLASHES RED
Flashmate flashes red for 26 hours once the right heat activity pattern is detected to indicate the cow is ready for artificial insemination


No Subsequent Heat Pattern - FLASHES GREEN*
Once AI’d if the same cow does not come back into heat within 25 days, Flashmate will flash green to indicate possible conception


Subsequent Heat Pattern - FLASHES RED*
If the same cow returns to heat again Flashmate will again flash red.


Why does Flashmate offer farmers such a large return on investment?

While the financial returns are reason enough for dairy farmers to get excited, there are many other benefits to using Flashmate:

  • Higher 6-week in-calf rate – early test results proving increase in 6-week in calf rates
  • Easy application – the units are extremely easy to apply and maintain
  • Detects multiple heats – will flash red again for the next detected heat cycle if AI has failed
  • High retention – as a result of research into the best place for application, units can typically be retained throughout the mating season*
  • Improved accuracy - smarter detection, looking for patterns (length, time, frequency) rather than what could be a single event
  • Operates 24/7 and looks for spikes in contact activity, a large % of mounting activity happens at night
  • Low experience required - Needs significantly less understanding and skill in correctly identifying heats, yet improves on what the best human operators are capable of – anyone can do it allowing time off during mating season.


* during spring moulting ensure re-application to maximise retention - lift all devices and re-glue.

Cows mating



58Gallagher has unveiled a clever little heat detection product that offers farmers a huge return on investment. The Flashmate® Electronic Heat Detector, a standalone disposable device that monitors cow heat behaviour 24/7, was on display at this year’s National Fieldays.
59Cambridge farmer Garry Reymer has always believed that accurate heat detection is the most important factor for successful dairy farming.
69A Te Awamutu dairy farm manager Mike Anderson, used Flashmate during mating time for his 520 cow herd. Mike and his staff found the devices very easy to apply, requiring no special drafting, putting them on during milking in the herringbone dairy.