When it comes to calving time do you play the “will she, won’t she” game, with your cows keeping you guessing as to when they’ll actually deliver? Wouldn’t it be far better, instead, if you knew for certain which cows were going to calve, and when?
Well now you can – thanks to the introduction of new calving detection technology from Semex.
Called Calving24, and part of the company’s ai24 range of products and services, the system monitors the temperature of the mothers-to-be, and uses the changes to predict the approach of calving. As calving becomes imminent the device sends an immediate alert – all this is done via text messages relayed to the farmer via a radio base unit.
The device consists of a temperature sensor, which is placed in the vagina of the cow about a week before the expected date of calving. This communicates the cow’s temperature to the radio base, which can be up to 200 metres away. From here on in it will send temperature reports twice a day to three different mobile phone numbers. Some 48 hours before calving the animal’s temperature will peak and then start to fall again and this change is relayed to those same numbers. At the start of calving, when the water bag expels the sensor, the temperature drops suddenly and the farmer is alerted immediately.
“The device is, like the heat detection technology ai24 Heatime, another innovative genetic management tool to help busy farmers take the uncertainty out of a key event in their animals’ life,” says Willie Tait, Semex’ genetics manager.
“It has proven to be an extremely useful management tool by acting as an early warning system for imminent calvings and means there’s less need to get up in the middle of the night to check cows that might be calving, which is a real bonus for the farmer or herdsmen. And, of course, the technology is also good for both mother and calf because it alerts the farmer to the calving, and results in fewer complications and deaths.”
The kit consists of up to 30 thermometers, an applicator and the radio base station. The price will be £3510 +VAT for a kit with eight thermometers, which is enough to equip around 200 cows in an all-year round calving pattern, as each thermometer should be able to be used for at least two cows each month. Interest-free finance is available, through Semex’ established and popular CashSaver account, over a 12-month period.
Source: Semex and Holstein UK