How to identify cow health and herd performance issues before they become problems
1. Stay ahead of disease. Keep cows healthy and productive.
Could you be missing cases of ketosis, subclinical mastitis, displaced abomasums, lameness or other cow diseases? Diseases don’t wait. Neither should you. State-of-the-art systems like Nedap CowControl can help you quickly detect health issues days before their symptoms are visible to the human eye. Finding and treating potentially sick cows early saves time, medical costs, death loss and milk production because the cows recover faster and return to peak milk sooner.
What about the economics? For example, displaced abomasums can cost at least $600 . Ketosis can cost a 1000-cow dairy with a 30% ketosis rate about $87.000 (€ 97.000) a year. By lowering the ketosis rate by just 5%, the dairy could save $14.500 (€ 16.000) per year . And that’s beneficial to both you and your cows.
Total chewing time counts
Activity monitors don’t pinpoint specific diseases. But they do let you know which cows need attention and they give you the extra information to diagnose their situation. To be able to provide the most accurate and complete information, Nedap CowControl monitors eating activity, rumination patterns and inactive behavior during which the cow is neither eating nor ruminating.
Alex Borst, Herd Manager at Koepon Dairy Farm in The Netherlands:
“We closely monitor the transition list and set goals for the cows that have calved during the past week. A cow is only allowed to return from the straw box to the herd when she eats and ruminates sufficiently.”Read Alex's success story ›
3. Knowing your herd’s performance trends to make the right decisions.
Nedap CowControl monitors behavior on pen and herd level as well. Alerts are generated if a pen is showing abnormal behavior, which indicates something might affect their performance. Pen and herd insights also help you identify management areas that need improvement and give feedback on the impact of management changes. Think of areas or changes in the field of nutrition, housing, handling and employee performance.
A few examples that may apply to your dairy: if you see chewing time drop in a whole group of cows, it could indicate their ration is imbalanced. If you change your feed pushing strategy, the ‘group eating pattern’ report directly shows its impact. If the herd structurally shows long periods of inactive behavior, lockup times may be too long. Management improvements based on these insights pay off in terms of cow comfort, production, health and longevity.
Team up with technology
Farmers cannot do without technology and technology cannot do without farmers. Activity monitors relieve farmers of a huge amount of work and labor. They are able to do specific tasks more effective and provide information that might go unseen without them. They certainly won’t replace dairyman, but they do enable them to spend their time more efficiently while performing more productive tasks on the farm or spend time away from it. The other way around, activity monitors need the farmer’s craftsmanship and expertise. Without them there is no adequate follow-up of alerts, no correct interpretation of sensor insights and no decisions based upon them. One could say they need each other to reach their full potential. So team up with technology to get the most out of your activity monitoring system and your dairy operation.Learn more about Nedap CowControl ›
 Liang, D., Arnold, L. M., Stowe, C. J., Harmon, R. J., & Bewley, J. M. (2016). Estimating US dairy clinical disease costs with a stochastic simulation model. Journal of Dairy Science, 100(2), 1472–1486.
 Wilson, D. J., González, R. N., Hertl, J., Schulte, H. F., Bennett, G. J., Schukken, Y. H., & Gröhn, Y. T. (2004). Effect of clinical mastitis on the lactation curve: A mixed model estimation using daily milk weights. Journal of Dairy Science, 87(7), 2073–2084.
 McArt, J. A. A., Nydam, D. V, & Overton, M. W. (2015 Hyperketonemia in early lactation dairy cattle: a deterministic estimate of component and total cost per case. Journal of Dairy Science, 98(3), 2043–54).