"I wanted something that would help us to work 'smarter' and help us to improve the efficiency of our herd."
Lancashire, United Kingdom
About the farm
- 120 dairy cows
- Year-round calving, large autumn block
- Implemented Nedap CowControl™ through CRV Ovalert
The herd’s average yield is high – around 10,000 litres at 4.33% butterfat and 3.2% protein. “And high yields can impact on fertility, in the sense that the cows don’t, in our experience, show such strong signs of heat. So, in that respect, moving to a heat detection system like Ovalert was inevitable,” adds Liam. “It was either that or someone would have to be watching the cows 24/7. But then, in effect, that’s what the system is doing.”
Liam, who is in charge or running and managing the system, says that simplicity is key to its success. “I wanted something that would help us to work ‘smarter’ and help us to improve the efficiency of our herd.” And so far, he’s extremely pleased with the system. “It takes readings from the cows throughout the day – every five minutes – and sends them back to the computerised control panel. If there are any sudden fluctuations, which could indicate heat, I’m alerted by a message on my phone. Then I can assess the cow and decide if I should AI her.”
The system is also connected to CRV SireMatch and sire recommendations are suggested with each alert. “It allows me determine, prior to milking, which cows I need to separate for AI. Other systems on the market rely on readers in the parlour. “But it’s good to know before milking which cows need to be separated,” he explains.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what our 100-day in-calf rate is by this coming November – 12 months after installing the system. And it will be interesting to see what our calving interval is. I think we’ll be close to 400 days, if not lower.”
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