"Advancements in cow behaviour sensors now offer more insight than ever before…..
Historically cow mounted sensors were prone to damage, poor battery life and limited applications. This meant that often not all animals were enabled and labour consuming sensor transfer was an undisclosed cost that often did not occur on time, rendering systems ineffective.
The new generation of sensors however employ behaviour analysis to indicate abnormalities. This not only provides vast improvements in terms of heat detection rates but importantly it allows for early intervention with management and disease issues.
With the drive to reduce antibiotic usage and continued efforts to increase efficiencies, the ability to pick up on early indication of problems means farmers are now empowered to manage their individual cows and herds with more precision than ever for example:
Early mastitis can be dismissed with anti-inflammatories and udder mint
Severity of metritis and stomach disorders can be reduced with early intervention
Herd feeding and lying behaviours can be analysed
Sub-clinical ketosis is the gateway to so many on farm issues and multiple studies suggest herd average prevalence of 30%. Very few herds routinely monitor ketosis but it is surprising how many cows struggle, it is how they express this challenge as to what it costs a farm.
To an average dairy, disease associated costs are substantial and heat and health monitors now offer an ability to monitor and manage that cost. Return on investment varies for all units but it is often only 12-24 months resulting in several years of profitable life where sensors having paid back their cost make life better for cow and cowman alike."
Nick Barradale - BVSc MRCVS, Molecare Veterinary Services
As Nick has outlined, current monitoring systems provide a wide range of benefits, and as a result they are used as a year round tool to monitor both the reproductive and health performance of the entire herd.
Systems such as HerdInsights identify reproductive health issues prior to breeding provide information on general health such as rumination and feeding behaviour along with monitoring the effectiveness of treatment making them a valuable investment on dairy farms today.
Find out more at: www.herdinsights.com