Udder health in Lely Horizon for lactating cows

The Lely Astronaut gathers all kinds of data, including the MQC (link) and MQC-C (link). Not only data from the milking robot is collected, but also data from other devices such as the Lely Qwes cow collar. The data is then used to filter out the cows requiring attention, so that you as a farmer can spend your valuable time on cows that really need it. The management system doesn’t stop there, it also provides advice to help you make the right decisions. In this article we will explain in depth about these features in Horizon.


Where to find attentions

When deviations are measured in the milk of a cow, it shows up in the Lely management program Horizon. Attentions are shown in reports 10, 12 and 23. Besides these reports, milk quality attentions are also shown in the ‘Milk Quality Graph’ in the specific cow card. These reports help the farmer focus on the cows that really require attention.

  • 10 – Health report: Report 10 combines all the available sensor data and information on the farm in one overview. It indicates cows requiring attention. It uses, among other things, parameters such as deviation in the milk yield, conductivity, milk colour, milk temperature and the time a cow has been away from the Astronaut to calculate the attentions and the sick change. We recommend checking all cows appearing on this report. This report allows you, as a farmer, to focus on the cows that really need your attention. We recommend checking this report twice a day.
  • 12 – Udder Health Work List: This report provides an overview of all udder health attentions over the previous 24 hours. The purpose of this report is to enable farmers to act fast, i.e. to minimise the rate of mastitis or influence the type of treatment through early treatment. We advise checking this report twice a day.
  • 23 – Udder Health Analyze: An overview of the udder heath parameters of all cows (including old udder health attentions) can be found in report 23 – Udder Health Analyze. Report 12 focuses on short-term action and report 23 focuses on long-term attentions. We recommend checking this list at least once a week.
  • Cow card – Milk Quality Graph: You can directly go to a specific cow card by selecting the animal number in the reports described above. You can use the ‘Milk Quality Graph’ cow card graph to then see if this cow has any milk quality attentions. The graph shows an overview of the milk quality over the last few weeks. Conductivity parameters are shown per quarter, as well as SCC attentions (where applicable). With this graph, attentions can be easily identified and the milk quality history and trends can be viewed.

Treatment plans

Horizon helps the farmer focus on cows requiring their attention. If mastitis cases need to be treated, we recommend using the treatment plans in Lely Horizon. These are more than just a program that logs the medicines that you use on farm – they are protocols that describe the treatment or action steps to cure or prevent a specific disease in an effective way. Assigning a treatment plan to a cow logs any medicine(s) used, generates automatic tasks for the Astronaut (such as milk separation or a hot rinse after milking a treated cow) and sends automatic reminders when the next action needs to be carried out. Examples of such actions might be applying the next treatment (available via ‘Health Treatment’ task), carrying out a physical check-up or putting the cow on report after a certain number of days or hours. This is relevant, for example, when a cow receives a medicine that is supposed to be administered again after 24 hours.

Good logging of disease treatment with the help of treatment plans offers you farm-specific insights into herd health. Reports are available on disease incidence per disease category and on medicine usage. These reports help you and the farmer analyse herd health and identify ways to improve overall herd health.



Task-based working

Farm structures have undergone considerable change over the past few years – average herd sizes have increased and farmers are finding other ways of doing their work. As a result, an increasing number of dairy farms depend on hired labour. Regular professional communication and the establishment of farm-specific protocols are essential for helping to minimise human error and ensure the consistency of practices when working with staff. To do this, Horizon works using a structure based on tasks. For example, report 10 is integrated into the ‘Health Report’ task and report 12 is integrated into the ‘Udder Health’ task.