Launched at the UK Dairy Day, at the International Centre, Telford, the CowAlert behaviour monitoring system has received a series of updates to help farmers manage herd fertility, and to manage and monitor lameness.
IceRobotics, the Edinburgh based developer of CowAlert, had introduced a new movement sensor called the I-Qube 9. It succeeds the IceQube and has a longer battery life and a longer, 300m range for relaying data to the system reader. Previously, data would only be downloaded when the cow stepped over a trigger in the parlour, while the new wireless system enables data on a cow’s heat activity to be monitored whenever the animal is in range.
Like its predecessor, the I-Qube 9 is attached to the rear leg of the cow to assure high reliability and accuracy. The colour of the new sensor has been brought in line with the company’s branding and is now yellow, instead of blue.
IceRobotics also states that the behaviour of dry cows and youngstock can be more easily monitored thanks to the longer range. This is thanks to the new Lameness Module, which has been enhanced to allow detailed logging of the cause of lameness and the treatment given. Users and their foot trimmers can record the diagnosis and the actions taken, and schedule a re-check if required.
All this information is automatically added to the cow’s record on the CowAlert system, providing an overview of her foot health, together with her fertility history. This will help guide management decisions on recurring lameness cases.
The third new feature is the Lameness Index, which provides an at-a-glance evaluation of the mobility status of the herd, with cows being categorised as either lame or not lame, based on continuous monitoring of their activity.
CowAlert is a cloud-based system so all information can be made readily accessible to farm staff and consultants as required. For more information go to www.cowalert.com