Who?

Wytske and Rienk Sijbrandij

Dairy farmers

Where?

Heeg, The Netherlands

About the farm

  • 170 dairy and calving cows
  • Implemented Nedap COWcontrol™ through CRV Ovalert

Nedap solutions

Health Monitoring
Heat Detection

Results

Clear overview
All data linked in one program
2-3 days
Earlier spotting of health problems
Improved health
Calf mortality and milk fever near zero

Technology by Nedap

Ovalert allows you to take control of fertility and health

Continuity of operations is very important for livestock farmers Wytske and Rienk Sijbrandij. “We work with Ovalert, so that we always have an overview of the fertility and health of our livestock. We can see this reflected in the results.”

Wytske Sijbrandij noticed that busy periods, for example when the cows are outside, had a direct impact on the results. “The work continues, of course, but you end up paying less attention to the heat activity of the cows, so it’s more difficult to detect when a cow is not eating enough. You simply cannot be everywhere at once.”

Fertility management and health

When Rienk’s father left the company and, during the same period, Rienk was temporarily unable to work, the livestock farmers became more aware of the vulnerability of their family business. “I had already taken a look at Ovalert with a colleague, and it seemed perfect for us,” says Wytske. “I’m a numbers person and I think it’s important to know where we stand. When we looked into it further, it turned out that Ovalert also offered health solutions, in addition to fertility management. I immediately thought that was very interesting, as you really get to see things that you would otherwise be unaware of.”

At a glance

Wytske originally worked in education and was surprised about the number of different computer systems when she started working at the dairy farm. “I didn’t like that at all. It’s much easier if you have everything together and only have to work with one program, isn’t it? That way you can also link data, for example between milk production and feed intake. I think it’s a big advantage that we can use Ovalert in VeeManager. For example, straight away we have a clear overview of how our livestock and individual cows are doing.”

 

The Sijbrandij farm, situated in Heeg, The Netherlands, houses 170 dairy and calving cows.

Start-up coach provides insight

After Ovalert was installed in the stable and on the computer of the partnership Sijbrandij by a CRV employee, and the cows had been provided with responders, we received a visit from the Ovalert start-up coach. These experienced veterinarians personally help new participants of the Ovalert health module. “At the time, I had already nearly mastered the program, but the extra training with the start-up coach clarified the links between what you see on the screen and the actual health of the cows. What does it mean, for example, if a cow is not eating well? We found out that the cows that eat less during the non-lactation period often encounter difficulties at the start of the lactation. ” The start-up coach gave the farmers a lot of insight into the health status of their livestock and the possibilities to control their health. “You can also make assessments at the group level. For example, are the first-calf cows eating enough? Before, we had to make educated guesses, whereas now we know for sure.”

Save precious time

When a cow is less active, Wytske sees this in the overview on her computer, which she consults every morning and evening. “One of the first things I do in the morning is check the heat and health warnings. Around noon, when I put the AI numbers into Veemanager, I check everything again, and then carry out a final check during the last round in the evening too.” If a cow does not eat at all, Wytske immediately receives a text message. “Nine times out of ten there is a serious reason behind it. However, it can take a few days until you see it reflected in the behaviour or milk production of the cow. Which means you have lost valuable time. That is why I always keep a close eye on the vulnerable cows that I am particularly concerned about. I normally have an overview of this in Ovalert, so that I can monitor them very easily.”

Focusing on health

Now that livestock farmers have a better understanding of the health of their cows and are able to identify potential problems sooner, the health of the livestock has clearly improved. “Calving almost always goes well, calf mortality occurs very rarely and cows with milk fever are also very rare. Moreover, we have much better control during the non-lactation period and I think that is very important for the health of the cows. Of course, a computer program does not directly make the cows healthier, but it does give you more control.” In terms of fertility, the livestock farmers opted for the Ovalert AI Package, including pregnancy control and supervision by the fertility advisor. “This gives us a lot of information so we have a good picture of the fertility of the cows. Thanks to the heat detection we know for certain that we will never miss a cow in heat and that gives us peace of mind. It feels good to know that we have fertility and health under control, and to see that reflected in the results.”

Learn more about Nedap COWcontrol™