Increase Your Milk Yields
Get the best possible results from your herd
What Are Your Cows Trying To Tell You?
Cows will not deliberately get mastitis nor will they get lame on purpose. It’s up to the farm staff, advisors, vets and nutritionists to be able to see these signs the cows are telling us and make the right decisions for the benefit of all concerned.
If cows are dirty, their environment is not clean. If they have hock lesions, their beds are not comfortable or they are agitated e.g. acidosis. If they have loose manure and poor DMI, then it could be the TMR is upsetting their rumens, the grass has too little fibre or the animals are sick.
A New Way Of Understanding Your Herd
The MooMonitor+ system is designed for both indoors and outdoors. With a range of 1,000 meters by line of sight, the majority of your cows can be monitored from anywhere around the farm. The system sends back information every 15 minutes about each individual cow. These shorter feedback intervals give more information about the onset of a heat giving more timely insemination (AI). They also provide critical information about resting, feeding & rumination patterns so the farmer can monitor if there are any sick cows in the herd.
The Ideal Cow
Studies have shown that regardless of the farming enterprise the ideal cow has a calving interval of 365 days to maximise milk production. These cows will usually have a dry period of approximately 60 days meaning they are producing milk for 305 days. If the cow is pregnant for 280 days then that only leaves 85 days between pregnancies. The uterus will need time to return to normal function following pregnancy and this is termed the VWP (Voluntary Waiting Period) and is usually around 45 days depending on the farm. This leaves only 40 days or less than three heats to get the cow pregnant. This is why we need accurate heat detection because we cannot afford to miss even one heat. In order to achieve this we must ensure that the reproductive performance is optimised by picking up all cows that are in heat using accurate heat detection and ensuring these cows become pregnant to high genetic merit AI sire by correct timing of insemination.
As stated above in order to maximise reproductive performance we need to identify more cows in heat with less effort and optimise conception rates through better timing of AI and increase rate of genetic advance through the use of higher genetic merit straws. This however, is not the full story. Identification of non-pregnant cows through accurate heat detection is another vital function of the system. We also need to identify cows that may have more difficulty getting pregnant and give them the attention and care they deserve to ensure their longevity within the herd. Farm staff need to know what type of heat the cow is having e.g. repeat breeder or irregular heat. Cows that require a veterinary inspection – such as cows that have not been in heat before the end of the VWP or cows that have health events entered during the transition period – these can be listed under farm records or can be individually drafted to coincide with the next veterinary visit. Identification of problem cows allows staff to follow pre-set protocols for each individual cows requirements.
Monitoring cows at regular intervals during the day and night is not only very tiring and labour intensive but it is also very expensive and requires skilled and committed personnel. The MooMonitor+ eliminates the need for intensive monitoring and functions similar to an electronic stockman watching over the cows 24/7, offering excellent return on investment. As the heat detection is so accurate and the optimum time for AI can be identified, the number of AI straws for conception can be reduced. Vet bills can also be reduced because sick cows are recognised sooner and more supportive therapy can be given to these cows reducing antibiotic usage. This means less waste milk is dumped. All of this has a positive impact on your bottom line.
Animal welfare and particularly dairy cow welfare will carry considerably more weight in the future. Smart sensors have a pivotal role to play in assessing animal welfare on farms by monitoring behavioural characteristics of cows. Any metric that can be used as an indicator of behaviour and health can assist in enforcing this. Monitoring daily resting time is an excellent example. A recent trial carried out using the MooMoitor+ found that daily resting time plays an important role in expressing a cows emotional & physical health status. It can be used as a key indicator for monitoring cow welfare on a farm.
MooMonitor+ allows access for multiple users once they have been approved by the person in charge. Vets play a vital role in the health, welfare and fertility of dairy cows all over the world. They can directly monitor their clients cows performance from anywhere in the world.
The transition period is the period of time 3 weeks before and 3 weeks after calving. This is the most dangerous time in the life of all cows and it is in this period when they need the most care. Over 75% of disease events in the adult life of a cow occur at this time. About 40% of all cows have some form of transition period disease event. Therefore it is vital that every cow’s behaviour is monitored particularly during this time of risk. The MooMonitor+ can identify changes in the normal behaviour of the cow and alert the farmer to these changes ensuring any sick cows get the attention and treatment necessary for them to recover from the health event. It can also determine response to treatment for any sick cow by looking at rumination time which is an excellent indicator of rumen health and cow health.
The MooMonitor+ offers an entirely new and innovative way to look at your cows individually or within the herd/group in real time that is simple to understand and interpret just by looking at the screen on your phone, iPad or PC. Feeding management, both grazing and TMR can be managed more precisely by looking at the consistency of the cows’ behaviour within the groups and as individuals on a daily basis. All of this feeding, rumination and resting data can be used to make better decisions for feeding your cows. By identifying diets that maximise DMI and having optimum feeding and rumination time, the incidence of production diseases such as ketosis and sub-acute ruminal acidosis can be reduced. This in turn, results in less negative energy balance and better fertility performance.
Herds are increasing in size everywhere. Highly skilled, motivated and experienced staff are in great demand and can be difficult to find. New staff must be educated, motivated and evaluated. This is a major responsibility for the herd owner/manager. With technology, the need for skilled labour is reduced. The MooMonitor+ can make the employees life much easier. Decisions such as which cow to breed and when to breed her are made automatically which allows staff to focus on correct semen handling and AI technique making their lives much less stressful. Features such as NFC (Near Field Communication) can reduce paperwork on your farm. When allocating a collar to a cow or exchanging collars between cows one can simply scan the tag with a compatible smart phone and enter the new cow ID number.
Establishing performance targets and monitoring them continiously is an important job for any farmer. This allows intervention and action when the performance starts to deviate from the target. Collecting and handling data is a vital function of this. The MooMonitor+ has an advanced app that can function as a single point of entry for information e.g. calving events, insemination, BCS (Body Conditioning Score) etc.
The health and fertility of dairy cows is essential to farm profitability. MooMonitor+ sends notifications to alert the farmer that a cow may be in heat, sick or underperforming relative to other cows within the group. The MooMonitor+ can be used to assess the numbers of animals affected together and how long the problem has existed. Once problems have been recognised then they can be assessed using activity, rumination, feeding and resting time data, allowing decisions to be made to achieve a successful outcome. All this contributes to improved health, reproduction and cow welfare.
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