"I can no longer live without it."
Jean Claude Menut
Beef cattle farmer
Saint Christophe, France
About the farm
- 85 purebred Limousins
- 85 yearlings
- 145 hectares of grassland for feed production and grazing
- Nedap COWControl™ with Heat Detection and Health Monitoring
Jean Claude Menut:
"I really can't live without Nedap Heat Detection"
Limousin breeder Jean Claude Menut has been using Nedap COWControl™ with Heat Detection and Health Monitoring since 2013. Since his animals began wearing the Smarttag Neck, he has seen 15 to 20 per cent more animals in heat than before. As a result, significantly more cows calve in the right period, and Menut has more time he can spend better caring for his animals.
“I really can’t live without heat detection,” he says enthusiastically. Jean Claude Menut (54) took over the beef livestock farm from his father in 1982. Whereas his father crossed various breeds, Menut decided to specialise in breeding pure Limousins. After all, this excellent meat breed traditionally comes from the region.Nedap CowControl™
"It works like a charm"
The farm in Saint Christophe now has 85 cows and an equal number of young stock. Menut also sells around fifteen young bulls to fellow breeders each year. “I want people to see me as a good breeder, with a genetically high-quality herd,” he says.
The beef livestock farmer has therefore always put a lot of effort into heat detection and fertility management. At midday and in the evening, he took his time checking for animals that were in heat. At night he monitored the herd through a camera in the stall. When the advisor from Elva Novia, the organisation for cattle improvement active in central France, suggested he give the Nedap Heat Detection system a try, he seized the opportunity with both hands.
“My fertility rates were fine, but I wanted to test whether heat detection also worked for beef cattle and if it was possible to boost the figures even higher,” he says. “And it works like a charm.” Menut bought the first collars in the winter of 2013-2014. The cows are outside most of the year. Depending on the weather, he brings them inside in late October or early November. During the winter period, the yearlings and cows are kept in a semi-open straw barn.
“The aim is for all the animals to calve in December and January,” he says. “That makes it a very busy period, with multiple births each day. But it is practical from an organisational standpoint, if I decide to hire extra help. And any medications I use in connection with calving can be purchased in bulk. That keeps the costs down.”
Find more cows in heat
Success with Nedap Heat Detection
With the Nedap COWControl™ Heat Detection system, Menut sees many more animals in heat than in previous years. “Last year the percentage was 15 to 20 per cent higher thanks to Nedap Heat Detection,” he tells enthusiastically. The improved heat detection has a direct impact on the calving pattern, he says. The cattle breeder used to succeed in having an average of 55 to 85 of the cows calve during the preferred two-month window.
“For next season, I already have no fewer than 70 calving dates in December and January,” he beams. “To me, this is the biggest advantage of Nedap Heat Detection. The more cows that calve in the right period, the better.” Jean Claude has great confidence in the system. “I’m now sure I won’t miss any cows in heat, and it works well with the yearlings too. Standing around watching them twice a day is truly no longer necessary. That saves me loads of time I can now spend doing something useful, either for the cows or other tasks.’”
An electronic gut check
"Nedap Health Monitoring is ideal"
Jean Claude also finds the Nedap Health Monitoring system to be ideal. “If I get a warning that a cow is eating less, I always go into the cowshed to have a look.” Of course he also keeps an eye on his animals himself. One time he saw a cow that was no longer eating.
“Three hours later I got a warning from the system. So my intuition was right, but in combination with the warning I knew for sure that something was going on,” he says. “It turned out she had mastitis.’ Jean Claude was therefore able to respond promptly, and the cow was able to recover quickly, he tells.
Control your farm
Automated heat detection for cows saves time
The beef cattle farmer is therefore very complimentary about Nedap Heat Detection.” It gives me greater insight and more control over my livestock,” he says. In April the prominent breeder welcomed groups of visiting colleagues who were interested in hearing about his experience with the system. “I recommend it to everyone,” Menut says. “For heat detection, it works perfectly for beef cattle, both for the cows and the yearlings. And the other big plus is how much time it saves. I really can’t live without it.”
About Menut's farm
Jean Claude Menut’s farm is located in the village of Saint Christophe in the province of Limousin. The company has 145 hectares of grassland, which is used for feed production and grazing. The 85 purebred Limousins and 85 yearlings graze outdoors from the end of March or early April to late October or early November. They go back inside no later than two to three weeks before calving.
Insemination is done four to six weeks after calving. The peak period is around February. Pregnancy testing takes place at least 35 days after insemination, if Menut can have a group of 30 cows scanned at the same time. The insemination factor has not changed with the introduction of the heat detection system. “With beef cattle you remain highly dependent on the weather for the success of an insemination,” says the cattle farmer.
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