Heat detection lowers calving index and boosts dairy profits

How important is your calving index? With ever increasing pressures on your time, and the fact that a lot of bulling activity happens at night and in the early hours, this is something that can prove difficult to keep track of and can easily slip.

Studies by Kingshay and others have shown that there is a loss of around £5 per cow, per day, for every day over 365 days on your calving index. These figures are based on a herd average of 8,500 litres. At a time when every penny counts, early heat detection and increased conception rate leading to a lower calving index, is a way of increasing your profit margins at a relatively small cost. Based on these figures you can work out for yourself the potential savings to be made.

Monitoring cows for heat detection using specific software can reduce labour, increase pregnancy rates, decrease days open and limit false inseminations therefore reducing straw costs.

The eating habits and rumination of cows can also be monitored using one of the systems such as CowScout. This information is updated from the cow every 15 minutes; therefore this is live information of what is happening to the cow in real time. Data is stored with cloud technology, making it accessible anytime, anywhere; you are not limited to the office. The system has the ability to send a message to your mobile phone or computer to tell you when a cow is on heat, freeing up your time.

A free iPad mini* is now available with CowScout allowing you to make the most of this freedom

South West Dairy Services Ltd offers a number of options regarding heat detection. We supply products that are robust and vigorously tested. GEA CowScout uses ultra-high frequency (UHF) wireless signals which are not obstructed by dirt, manure, or internal building components, which can be common with other systems. Plus, the UHF technology provides a wider read range including a long-range antenna, enabling barn or grazing monitoring of the cows. Independent data capture is used meaning it will not interfere with any other cow ID system currently used on the farm.

We have options of stand along systems or systems that will integrate into your Milking parlour management and segregation equipment, subject to compatibility. There are options of neck or leg fittings. Our CowScout system with neck collar monitors activity, eating and rumination while the leg version monitors activity and resting. This means you can choose a system that fits your herd and your farm. This is not expensive to start-up and no complex software is required.

You will start to see the benefits of this system within a few weeks of installation as you will be getting a more accurate pin point of the heat leading to higher conception rates.

For more information contact South West Dairy Services Ltd on 01884 839393 on visit the website to start saving money today.

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