Spotlight on high-tech products launching at Livestock

Several diverse products for the livestock sector are being launched at this year’s Livestock Event on 6 and 7 July at the NEC, Birmingham. Here is a brief look at some of the new kit ahead of the event.

Halve disinfection costs with new mixing teat dip

Significant savings on teat dip costs and farm waste are being promised by a new teat disinfectant cleansing system allowing farmers to mix solution on farm.

Combining chlorine dioxide and a teat skin conditioner concentrate, the iCOD (Infection Control on Demand) from G Shepherd Animal Health saves 40-50% on teat disinfectant cost and reduces packaging disposal costs and transport costs by 75%.

The dosing equipment dilutes and mixes concentrates with mains water to produce pre-milking, post-milking and cluster flush products.

iCOD doserSeveral years of development have improved the usability of chlorine dioxide-based disinfectants.

The iCOD system mixes the chemical with a teat skin conditioner to prevent teats from cracking, and it contains four moisturisers/exfoliants and an indicator dye.

Cost depends upon farm scale and whether an electronic control system is required, explains veterinarian Dr Graham Shepherd.

“Some farms at or below the 150-cow mark won’t need it – they will just be able to run off five litres – whereas larger units will have more control with the system,” he explains.

“Teat disinfection on a 500-cow herd can cost £9,000 annually, with a typical herd using 14,000 litres – seeing each cow sprayed with 28 litres, including before and after milking.”

Rental costs of the mixing system are factored into the price paid for concentrates at approximate values of:

  • Pre-milking teat disinfectant = £275/1,000 litres
  • Post-milking teat disinfectant = £360/1,000 litres
  • Cluster flush = £25/1,000 litres

For more information, go to the G Shepherd Animal Health website or visit stand AH170.

World’s first automated body condition scoring system

DeLaval BCS camera

A 3D camera from DeLaval aims to improve the accuracy of body condition scoring.

DeLaval’s BCS system provides instant scoring by analysing video sequences of a cow passing under the camera and selecting the optimum still image from the sequence.  

DeLaval trials have demonstrated that, as well as removing subjectivity from scoring and freeing up farmer time, the camera can:

  • Halve ketosis cases
  • Reduce feed costs
  • Increase milk yield by 545kg in first 120 days of lactation
  • Improve conception rate up to 50% with reduced open days

The camera is available with DeLaval Voluntary Milking System on parlours and rotaries.

The full outfit of camera, sortgate and software retails at £4,500-£5,000, costing about £4 a cow a year, with algorithms already calculated for Holstein and Fleckvieh breeds and work under way to finalise Jersey and Friesian modelling.

For more information, go to the DeLaval website or visit stand MK432.

LIC heat patches improve farm efficiency

EZ Heat drafter system, LIC Automation

A self-adhesive heat-detection patch is one of three new offerings from LIC Automation for the UK market this summer.

Tighter calving spreads and more days in milk are possible, thanks to the simple EZ heat patch, launching at this year’s Livestock Event after proving a success with systems in New Zealand, where close monitoring of heats means many farms no longer require sweeper bulls.

Pressure from a standing heat releases a bright red dye through a blue chamber in the centre of the patch, which is then read by an automatic drafter. Cows can be drafted into a holding pen for inspection, according to whether the heat patch is red or missing.

To be used in conjunction with the heat patch, LIC Automation is also launching:

  • Automatic drafting scheduled from any location within wireless range of the parlour from a smartphone app for herringbone or rotary drafters (£14,000).
  • EZ Heat uses a camera to communicate to a smart draft controller displaying information about the last recorded heat (£16,000).

Patches will cost in the region of £1.10/patch. 

For more information, see the LIC Automation website or visit stand GE32.

Cow heat and health monitor from Northern Dairy Solutions

Northern Dairy Equipment HerdInsight collarA cloud-based herd health monitoring system combining gesture recognition and behavioural algorithms is being launched on to the UK market by Northern Dairy Solutions.

Nine years of development has led to the cloud-based HerdInsights heat and illness detection system. Collars attached to each cow relay cow signal behaviour to a baystation.

Collars monitor temperature and gesture. If a poor health status is identified – such as in heat, cycstic or anestrous – a text message or smartphone alert is sent to the herd manager’s app.

  • Heat detection rates are proven to be 93% accurate
  • Alert accuracy rates are proven to be 97% accurate

The system sends health alerts for: mastitis, ketosis, metritis, lameness, photosensitivity and displaced abomasums.

The system retails at £3,500 for the baystation, which can work outside or inside, and collars retail according to quantity, with big discounts available for exceptionally large units.

  • Up to 100 collars – £120 each
  • 100-500 collars – £110 each
  • 500-1,000 – £105 each

For more information, see the Northern Dairy Solutions website or visit stand AH210.

Solomix feeder is faster, better and longer lasting

Trioliet Solomix feeder

A range of new features on the Solomix 2 VLL allow faster mixing and better-quality feeding.

Adaptations allow quicker discharge, a faster mixing process, more homogenous mixing and forced horizontal flow. 

What is new?

  • Large discharge door with wide discharge units (1.1m)
  • Rounding in discharge opening and improved door guidance
  • Improved mixing tub shape
  • New platform
  • High-quality two-component paint
  • Improved pick-up edge and thicker steel on augers (22mm thick – most are 12-15mm – meaning the auger lasts longer)
  • Easier loading (45cm lower means a small Bobcat, rather than a telehandler, can load)
  • Seamless side walls inside – no welds to wear away
  • Viewing window (the amount of material that is on the belt can be seen from tractor)

The range offers four models (B, C, K and S) in different sizes: 1,200 litres, 1,400 litres, 1,600 litres, 1,800 litres and 2,000 litres.

Prices for the Solomix 2 VLL-K start at £27,640 for the 1,200-litre model, going up to £29,310 for 1,400-litre capacity and £33,460 for 2,000-litre capacity mixer.

For more information, visit the Trioliet website or visit stand FF360.

Automated calf feeder reduces calf germs by 80%

Holstein calf drinking, Holm and LaueThe latest automatic calf feeder from Holm and Laue provides milk line cleaning and teat spraying to ensure clean drinking conditions 24 hours a day.

Calf exposure to germs is reduced by 80% through a feature that enables the teat to eject milk at the calf during the early learning stages of drinking, stimulating a drink response.

Cleanliness is ensured by removing saliva contact on the teat via a spray function – as well as a complete flushing of the milk line following each calf visit. Visits are increased during night hours by a constantly lit LED, resulting in a calmer calf shed with feeding spread over a 24-hour period.

Teats are positioned at a downward slant, mimicking the teats of a cow and supporting natural calf position, stretching the head and promoting the natural reflex of the oesophageal groove.

  • Each station has its own milk pump with new powder mixer, producing milk four seconds after each calf enters the station.
  • The milk line is cleaned twice a day with water up to 65C and detergent.
  • An anti-frost program protects system from freezing.
  • Milk is automatically stopped when a cow already fed enters the station.
  • Free access to teat means calves can be led to teat while sucking on a finger.

The station, which retails at £1,450, uses milk mixed in Holm and Laue’s HL100 mixing machine, priced at about £5,000. Four hygiene stations can run from one HL100.

For more information, see the Holm & Laue website or visit stand HS595.

Lactoscan gives mastitis results in 25 seconds

LactoScan SCC from Calibre Control

A somatic cell counter from Calibre Control aims to put the farmer in the driving seat when monitoring mastitis.

Lactoscan SCC uses a high-end fluorescent microscope with autofocus and cell-counting software to detect sub-clinical mastitis early.

Milk is placed on to a lactochip in a three-step test.

  • Mix milk and dye together
  • Pipette on to lactochip
  • Insert into Lactoscan SCC

Results come back in 25 seconds, although farmers can choose to re-analyse samples, taking more images in a 60-second test.

The counter can be bought outright for £2,000 or rented at £15/week, which includes software updates and maintenance.

All four quarters can be tested at once, with results displayed and stored on the device.

Company director Paul Cliffe says the system is “easy, fast and low-cost with laboratory accuracy”.

He adds: “This should assist farmers in hitting milk premiums, maximising prices with quality milk. Specific numbers are given by the reader – it’s not a banding.”

For more information, go to the Calibre Control website or visit stand MK 428.