Less milk loss with "fitbit"

Author: Yvonne Daandels (ZLTO) - September 7, 2017

Recently, ZLTO, Agrovision and Connecterra have launched a trial together, investigating a new type of activity tracker for cow. By the end of June, we already gained a lot more insight into feed efficiency and metabolic diseases in dairy herds.

Employers from Connecterra and ZLTO installing the system.

Two months ago, the first dairy farms entered the trial. The installation of the system by the dairy farmer is the first step in collecting information from individual cows.

After that, we selected the cows that were going to participate in the trial. We decided to only include cows in the period from 8 to 16 weeks after calving. This is mainly to follow the cows at risk in the participating dairy farms, and to make management improvements. After selecting the cows, they received a collar with the sensor, followed by Connecterra installing the software and hanging up the “system box”. The sensors are directly linked to the cow ID.. As a result, cows will immediately turn up in the Connecterra system so that the dairy farmer will be able to follow them.

The first week after the installation, the system gets familiar with the cows. After one week, the dairy farmer will receive the first reports. The initial experiences of the dairy farmers are still mixed. Because the system is still in its initial phase, it is to be expected that farmers are still a bit ambivalent. By taking into account their experiences, the system will improve significantly Besides that, there are also many examples where cows with health problems were picked up earlierby the system. One of the participants trimmed one of her cows sooner because of the notification given by the system. As a result, that the cow recovered faster and lost less milk. Although it is far too early to draw conclusions from this, this is inspiring data for further analysis