The development of animal-based technologies began with individual cow identification and was followed by sensors that measure characteristics of the individual cow. These sensors have included activity, weight changes and blood, milk and rumen parameters that may assist in supporting the health, welfare and reproductive management of individual dairy cows.
Many of the sensors that are available for monitoring the reproductive activity, health and welfare status and feeding of dairy cows are described more fully in the EU Industry Innovations Report (PDF, 1.8MB).
Automatic gate timers
The daily task of fetching cows for milking and opening gates to new paddocks can be a repetitive and mundane task. Automatic gate timers release the gate through a latch mechanism, but can only open gates, not close them. However, automatic gate timers may allow the voluntary movement of cows to the dairy with potential improvements in labour efficiency and cow lameness.
Adoption of new technologies: Automatic gate timers (PDF, 598KB)
This fact sheet describes how automatic gate timers work and the implications of installing and using this technology.
Electronic cow identification
Individual cow identification is the tool that enables tracking of dairy cows and their associated herd and performance records.
This fact sheet describes two main types of cow identification that have two distinct purposes; the official National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) and the within-farm cow management identification system.
Laboratory tests for pregnancy diagnosis
Reliable methods for detecting early pregnancy in dairy cows include rectal palpation, ultrasound examination and laboratory-based tests that target proteins or hormones which become elevated in blood and/or milk during pregnancy.
This fact sheet describes the range of laboratory tests for pregnancy diagnosis in dairy cows that are commercially available in Australia. Contact details of the major suppliers of the tests and the pros and cons of laboratory testing is included.
Case studies demonstrate how dairy farmers have used laboratory tests for diagnosing pregnancy in their cows, and their experiences with this technology.
Greg Rogers, Katunga, Victoria
Greg Rogers milks 260 cows, mainly Friesians with a few Jerseys, at Katunga in northern Victoria.
Pam Malcolm, Invergordon, Victoria
Pam Malcolm has been running Paringa Holsteins in northern Victoria since 1982. She milks 200 cows in a split-calving system.
Walkover weigh scale systems
Walkover weighing technology is commercially available in several Australian livestock industries, including dairy. Walkover weigh scales are designed to sit in the exit race of a dairy and weigh cows as they leave the dairy after each milking.
This fact sheet describes how the walkover weigh scales work and how dairy farmers can use the information generated by the technology. Contact details of the major suppliers, together with approximate cost and other relevant information, is included.
Case studies demonstrate how dairy farmers have implemented walkover weigh scales on their own farm and their experiences with this technology. This information is presented as both a short two page document and a recorded video with the dairy farmer.
Mark Billing, Colac, Victoria
Craiglands Dairy is a family owned partnership consisting of Mark Billing and his wife. They milk about 450 cows on 280 hectares dry land milking platform about 5 km west of Colac in Victoria.
Adoption of automatic gate timersPDF, 598.2 KB
Case Study Greg Rogers Laboratory test for pregnancy diagnosis in dairy cowsPDF, 1.57 MB
Case Study Pam Malcolm Laboratory test for pregnancy diagnosis in dairy cowsPDF, 551.53 KB
Electronic cow identificationPDF, 252.97 KB
EU Industry Innovations ReportPDF, 1.79 MB
Laboratory tests for pregnancy diagnosis in dairy cowsPDF, 1.48 MB
Precision dairy technology Walkover weigh scale systemsPDF, 3.01 MB
Precision dairy technology Walkover weigh scale systems case study Mark BillingPDF, 1.49 MB