News & Advice

Animal Monitoring – the game changer

Automated heat detection, real-time health monitoring, virtual fencing – technology has arrived in the dairy industry, and it is here to stay! We now have the ability to accurately monitor individual cows in real time by using this advanced equipment to observe, assess and refine our systems to achieve our goals, whatever they may be.

The number of cow monitoring devices1 is doubling every year. Although there are several different options on the market, they all contain highly developed algorithms that can measure more than 70 different behaviours in the cow. These are processed and delivered to you in a user-friendly format on your computer or phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Vetlife has long recognised the potential of this technology. Consider the ability to accurately identify non-cycling cows in your herd in order to treat the right cow, with the right drug, at the right time. Not only are your chances of improving the reproductive outcome increased, but you are also making sure that you are spending your money more effectively. Monitoring health and nutrition through the season is now only a click away; and managing your animals more efficiently through the challenge of calving and transitioning, a period that will

lay the grounds for her performance for the remainder of the season, is now a possibility.

And when it comes to the end of the season, and you wonder if the decisions you made gave you the outcome you wanted, you will now have an array of historical data that will give you the answer. This takes strategic planning to a whole new level!

But there is one catch: these devices are data collectors only! It is what you do with the data that matters.

As a client recently joked when discussing this new addition to his farm: “Yes, I’ve got information coming through – now what do I do with it?!”

As your veterinary service provider, we recognise that we have a role to play, and we are excited to be a part of it. As a result of this, Vetlife has developed a new initiative with the aim of adding value to your investment. This new service combines forces within our practice to share knowledge and ideas across clinics, monitor performance, consult to data, and keep us up to date with the latest developments in the animal monitoring space. We have spent time making ourselves familiar with the systems that are currently available. We know how

to navigate them, how to extract data and how to apply that to everyday farming. We have a dedicated Data Analyst with a veterinary background to manage the time-consuming task of extracting this information and analysing it to your benefit. Your main farm veterinarian will be able to check in on your cows remotely, reviewing treatment protocols and monitoring animal health from a distance. This will be combined with your regular on-farm services, consultancy, and advice.

If you need support managing health alerts, want to utilise your system to optimise reproductive performance this season, or have questions about specific areas of your business, please get us involved and get the conversation started. We are able to customise a plan that is appropriate for your farm and your needs. Your Vetlife veterinarian is here to get you started on the journey and to be a part of the future too.

Line Ferriman Vetlife Ashburton