A new fully automated mobility alerting system could help dairy farmers tackle lameness.
IceScore Mobility from IceRobotics, automatically and continuously monitors dairy cows and promptly alerts the farmer when an individual animal's mobility deteriorates, enabling earlier intervention by the farmer or vet to address health problems in a more timely and cost-effective manner.
Changes in mobility have been proven to be related to problems of lameness, mastitis and fertility - the three greatest health challenges dairy farmers encounter in their herd.
IceScore Mobility is believed to be the first system in the world able to provide continuous mobility monitoring. The system is totally automatic and objective, requiring no specialist training of staff.
The system is an extension of the IceRobotics CowAlert behaviour monitoring system, which currently provides farmers with scientifically-validated heat detection and information on standing, stepping and lying patterns for each animal.
IceScore Mobility will be available as an option in the system. George Collins of Alta Genetics says: "We learnt from our trials how much poor mobility can affect the expression of oestrus and therefore successful insemination. The automation of mobility assessment means CowAlert now goes well beyond just heat detection, setting it apart from other systems on the market and providing an exciting and logical extension to our fertility management services."
Earlier intervention in health problems highlighted through CowAlert and IceScore Mobility can often lead to more effective treatment, reduced treatment costs and higher standards of animal welfare on the farm.
CowAlert is available in the UK exclusively through Alta Genetics and with no capital outlay. It is priced at about £1.50 a cow a month, depending on farm size, with the IceScore Mobility feature costing an additional £0.17 a cow each month.
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