Large scale dairy operations often struggle with labor shortages, farm profitability and feed management, while keeping animal health and welfare at a high level. Cainthus, a computer vision and artificial intelligence company, have worked for the last three years alongside their farmer advisor group in North America to develop a unique technology that helps address these challenges on farm and animal level. Cainthus proudly presents ALUS Behavior.
More resting, more milk
ALUS Behavior is the second product that Cainthus releases in 2020, after the launch of its award-winning product ALUS Nutrition (to optimize feed management) earlier this year. ALUS Behavior looks at the cows 24/7 and their activities such as lying, eating, drinking (the 24-hours cow time budget, aka the response of a cow to the environment) and ensures that cows are displaying the behavior patterns that result in maximum milk production. If cows are relaxed and can show their normal behavior, it directly results in increased health and welfare, better milk production and hence better farm profitability. The lying time of high yielding cows is for example crucial for maximizing milk production and their welfare and set at a minimum of 12 hours per day. Research shows that for every additional hour of resting time, milk production increases with approximately 1.7kg (Grant, 2007 Miner Institute). Having the ability to monitor lying time is therefore key to improve productivity and identify potential issues with the cows.
“Technology in ag is becoming more and more important, especially in dairy where efficiency is everything to survival because our net revenues are getting smaller and smaller”, said Steve Maddox Jr., one of Cainthus farm advisors. “To be able to make it in the dairy industry, we have to embrace technology and we are starting to do so more and more.”
Cow Comfort Index
At time of release, ALUS Behavior will deliver insights into lying time and time out of pen. This will be enhanced soon after to provide the full cow time budget including eating time, drinking time as well as standing time. Another key feature of this December's release is the Cow Comfort Index, which can be used as an indicator of lameness and as an important validation of overall welfare.
Using AI to manage your herd precisely
The ALUS technology - used for both Nutrition and Behavior - relies on a smart camera system that observes each pen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Cainthus has developed state-of-the-art artificial intelligence to automatically turn visual inputs from cameras into real-time insights about feed management and animal behavior. These insights are displayed daily on any device available on the farm - phone, tablet or PC, via an easy-to-use interface. For those who want to delve deeper into the data and management actions, detailed analytics of the information is available as well, at the palm of your hands.
‘The technology developed by Cainthus is the biggest revolution in dairy farming since the introduction of the first automatic milker’, says Tyler Bramble, Portfolio Growth Lead manager in Cainthus. ‘It delivers accurate, reliable, non-biased and real time information which allows for early intervention on the farm. This technology is offering producers the ability to increase the precision in which they manage their herd and as a result-drives-efficiencies, maximizes production and profitability on farms’.
Cainthus CEO Aidan Connolly adds: ‘I think the next three years are going to be the most exciting for precision livestock farming. Producers we speak to, with more than 2,000 cows, say they'll be using technology like Cainthus' within the next three years. With many of them, it's already happening. Cainthus has now installed its technology on several major farms in the U.S., tracking thousands of cows. We worked hard to ensure our unique technology provides meaningful value for producers. The feedback we get from them is very exciting’.