TRACKING TAG KEEPS COWS CONNECTED
Over the years, our farm, like our family, has grown. One of our most important jobs on the farm is keeping every animal healthy. As a parent, you can relate. A look into your kids’ eyes or a quick hand on the forehead can tell you if they’re not feeling great. While we interact with our animals every day, we are still vastly outnumbered by our 500 dairy cows.
That’s why our cows wear Fitbits … sort of.
Accurate information about cow health is an absolute must for dairy farmers. The more you know about how your animals are feeling, the better care you can provide for them. One of the ways you can do this is by using technology that helps you monitor your cows’ health and well-being, even before they show signs of illness.
The CowManager tool was developed to provide farmers with real-time information about each one of their cows. Each cow wears an ear tag that is similar to a Fitbit, but it tracks more than just the steps a cow takes. It also tracks their food intake and other vital signs that have changed the way dairy farmers manage their cows’ reproduction and overall health.
By monitoring their cows’ conditions with precision, dairy farmers are able to give their cows the individual attention and care they need.
Using this technology on our farm saves us time and improves the general health of our cows. And, of course, happy cows make more milk. The CowManager tool gives us immediate information about every cow’s:
- Temperature (early indicator of illness)
- Cycle (best time to get pregnant based on her natural cycle)
- Activity (eating, sleeping and movement patterns)
- Rumination (digestion and diet)
Just like with human health, early detection can make an injury or illness much easier to treat. Early intervention means there are fewer major health issues, a reduced need for antibiotics and healthier cows.
By looking on our smartphone or computer, we have the ability to monitor our cows 24/7 – whether we’re in the barn, in bed or in another country. The CowManager tool gives us real-time information so we can make real-time decisions that can make or break our herd health.
Keeping cows healthy is every farmer’s goal, and it’s a lofty goal when you are responsible for 500 of them. Technology like our CowManager system helps us make decisions that can reduce the resources we use, conserve energy and the environment, and keep our animals happy and healthy.
At the end of the day, it is still up to us to know when to act and how to best care for our cows, but this ear tag technology gives us the information we need to do our best work.