When dairy producers invest in advanced monitoring technology, no abnormal cow behavior goes unnoticed. At any given time, a producer can look at the data to determine which cows need attention and which ones do not. These factors and more help producers manage cows as individuals and also enhance herd performance no matter the size.
Prior to advanced monitoring technology, the task of finding cows that needed attention would have been done by employee observation. Estrous activity would be watched throughout the day to find cows exhibiting heats, or shots would be given for timed A.I. protocols based on assumed hormone cycles. Adverse health events would be identified only after cows exhibited clinical signs, leading to reactive rather than proactive health interventions.
“With the Allflex Livestock Intelligence system, I’ve pretty much figured we save one full-time guy from having to chalk tails, give shots, and do visual heat detection,” says Seth Atwater, owner of Atwater Farms, Barker, N.Y. “We’ve doubled our herd size, kept the same amount of labor, and took our pregnancy rate up 10%. So, I think the labor savings alone from having the system probably covers the expense.”
From the smallest change in activity and rumination to the largest, this technology gives dairy producers the ability to listen to their cows 24/7 and only intervene in their daily routines when necessary. This gives producers more flexibility in their day to manage their business, rather than getting bogged down in daily, disruptive, and reactive practices. Producers are also learning how effective monitoring technology can lead to significant savings from improved labor management.
“Better labor utilization is one of the benefits from Allflex activity monitoring technology,” says Brian Waymeier, herd manager at Tony DeGroot Farms in Hanford, Calif. “We can focus labor on the cows that actually need the help. We have to utilize those eight hours guys are here each day to the max.”
Activity and rumination monitoring can also identify sick animals before they exhibit noticeable symptoms.
“Before you would have to send people out into the pens and they would have to walk the cows,” says Monty Belmer, D.V.M., Waupun Veterinary Service. “Now the monitoring system identifies cows within a pen, and employees can go right to that cow and look at her.”
Now more than ever, producers must do all they can to increase efficiencies throughout their business. The monitoring systems from Allflex Livestock Intelligence are an important and reliable resource to help producers optimize labor efficiency opportunities. Producers can hear more from their peers at www.AllInOnAllflex.com.