An important sign that a cow has a serious health issue is when she suddenly stops eating and/or ruminating. Following the Lely T4C release in April 2020, we are able to inform the farmer about cows showing no rumination and/or eating activity via an extra parameter in the T4C health report.
The addition of the ‘acute inactive’ attention will help farmers with early detection of severely sick cows before clinical signs become apparent and milk production is affected. It could indicate that the cow is suffering from, for example, a metabolic disorder, clinical mastitis or a displaced abomasum. Additionally, low rumination and/or activity is a major indicator/risk factor for rumen acidosis, due to decreased saliva production and insufficient rumen buffer.
Early detection can maintain higher levels of milk production by enabling treatment of potentially sick cows before production drops. This reduces the cost of treatment and is likely to increase treatment effectiveness. It also minimises the amount of milk lost due to separation or to a decrease in production after the disease. In the image, you can see an example of a cow identified as ‘acute inactive’. It turned out that she had hypomagnesemia.
The ‘acute inactive’ attention is shown on Report 10. The time shown under ‘value’ next to the ‘acute inactive’ attention indicates how long this cow has been inactive when you open the report. In the image, you can see that this cow has not ruminated or eaten for 8 hours and 29 minutes.
When the farmer receives the ‘acute inactive’ attention, it is important to check the cow immediately in real life and/or to check the relevant parameters in T4C. This is in order to evaluate her condition and prevent any further suffering.
When multiple cows in the same group receive the ‘acute inactive’ message, it is very likely that the availability of feed is low, your feed ration is not appropriate, or general management of that group is not suitable.
The ‘acute inactive’ parameter will not replace the ‘inactive’ parameter (from the ISO smart tags), but will function as a heavily weighing parameter in the health report algorithm. These attentions will never appear at the same time for one cow; T4C will identify which of them is most crucial.
The ‘acute inactive’ attention is available for farmers using the following tags:
• HR(LD) – BU500
• LDn Controller
• ISO LD
• ISO smart
If rumination and eating data are both available (e.g. with ISO smart and HR LD Controller), attentions will be shown after around 6 hours, compared to when only one sensor is used. In that case, it takes around 11 hours before the attention is shown. This is because the combination of these two indicators results in a more sensitive and precise indication of cow status.
Management, T4C & InHerd, Cow health, Tips & Tricks
Why treatment plans?
Ensuring that animal health issues are dealt with effectively and that the labour involved in the treatment is efficient is very important, particularly as herd sizes become larger. Farms with an automatic milking system have an extra tool they can use to increase the effectiveness of the treatment, thereby decrease the effort of the farmer has to make to achieve the best results.