The launch of a dairy cow management app could help improve success in the transition period by cutting losses and improving herd health.
Michael Carruthers from Davidsons Animal Feeds says the Transition Management Systems (TMS) app focuses on metabolic disease, energy status, intake potential and udder health.
“The app can be used to record key data for cows passing through the transition period,” he says.
Developed and built by Premier Nutrition, the aim is to avoid yield losses and long-term issues with herd health.
Customers of Davidsons Animal Feeds receive a monthly visit from Paula Bailey at Premier Nutrition. Ms Bailey looks at cows in the last four weeks of the dry period and the fresh calvers for condition score and rumen fill. Any incidence of problems such as milk fever or displaced abomasum are recorded, along with fat and protein levels, to assess for ketosis. Finally, cell counts before dry-off and after calving are logged.
“This app takes the measuring out of farmers’ hands, and having a fresh pair of eyes putting a score on transition is quite important,” says Mr Carruthers.
Farmers receive monthly reports generated by the app, which uses a simple traffic light system to alert farmers to management or nutrition issues. In future, Mr Carruthers says it will be possible for farmers to benchmark their success against others on a regional, herd size, milk yield or breed basis.
According to Mr Carruthers, viewing the data as a whole creates an “industry first” accurate assessment of transition success. “The app also puts a monetary value with each score so farmers can see where and how much money could be saved by improving,” he says.
Customers of Davidsons Animal Feeds can contact the company to sign up for the free app, which is available on Android or iPhone.
See also: Top tips on transition cow management