“With CowManager we see things so much earlier than before and you can monitor cows that have been sick much better”
Matthijs de Ruiter, herdmanager at Ekodorp (the Netherlands).
Ekodorp is an organic dairy farm (A2A2) with 220 dairy cows and use CowManager since April 2018. Besides the dairy herd, the business is also focused on their methane digester and crop farming. The cows are milked by three robots, Matthijs tells that when they purchased the robots, they consciously didn’t invest in a cow monitoring system because they thought it was too big of an investment at that time. However, then CowManager came about. “We were like; we would like to try it. So, we started using it and we haven’t regretted it a single day” according to Matthijs. The cow identification in the robots is still done by collar explains Matthijs: “Technically we could convert the robots so that electronic ear tags can be used for identification. However, we already had collars before we started using CowManager and the collars also serve as visual identification of the cows for ourselves”. The combination of CowManager and milk robots works well, says Matthijs. Both CowManager and the robot provide valuable information about each individual cow. The information from both systems is combined and viewed in the app on their phones and on a tablet which is hanging in the robot room. Then it’s determined what to do with a cow if there is a problem. According to Matthijs, this works very well: “You can double check cows. I have an alert in CowManager, and have an incomplete milking at the robot; what does that mean? Perhaps the cow is holding up her milk because she is in heat, or the cow has a suspicious alert. This way you can exchange and compare the information of both systems. The systems can reinforce each other and help us make the right decision at the right time.”
The CowManager system has been set up proactively so dairymen can intervene early because deviations are detected earlier. Matthijs: “We easily earn back the costs of the system because we keep the cows fitter and healthier. As a result, we use fewer antibiotics, have fewer vet visits and less culls. Because of our organic nature, this is an extra big advantage for us.”
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