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New cow monitoring system from Zoetis

Smartbow, a new dairy cow monitoring system using the latest precision technology, was presented by Zoetis at EuroTier 2018.

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The system is a tool to monitor herd health, aid heat detection for fertility management and monitor behaviour by mapping cow movements.

 

Speaking at a press briefing at the event, Andreas Tschuor, Director for Zoetis Precision Livestock Farming, said the system aims to work alongside vets to deliver these three functions and is suited to indoor based dairy systems currently, although prototypes for other sectors were being considered.

 

He explained that the technology monitors each cow individually through an identification ear tag and uses radio frequency to send real time data into wireless receivers fitted in the shed.

 

These receivers are linked to a device (computer, tablet or mobile) which display this data for analysis and can be accessed at any time.

 

“We do not benchmark the data gathered against an industry average, the system uses artificial intelligence technology for each individual animal and means any alerts produced from cow data are highly accurate,” said Mr Tschour.

 

“It delivers its three functions firstly by monitoring rumination patterns, which aims to detect abnormalities and highlight disease before an animal displays clinical or sub-clinical symptoms become visible.”

Mr Tschour said this meant treatment could be given earlier which may increase its likelihood of success and that using this kind of targeted approach to disease treatment on individual animals could also take away the need for a blanket approach, particularly around antibiotics.

 

He continued: “Smartbow works to improve herd fertility with a its continual heat detection monitoring, taking away the risk of missing a heat cycle with less frequent monitoring and therefore promoting efficiency when it comes to getting cows in calf.

 

“Smartbow can also map an individual animals movements around the shed which can help with behavioural monitoring around things like lying times, time spent standing and eating and drinking.”

 

Having acquired Smartbow earlier this year, Zoetis has been working alongside the company to continue to distribute the product through several countries worldwide in recent years. It plans to put a sales and support team in place in the UK in 2019.

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