Animal technologies

Animal technologies



Animal technologies are used for monitoring the reproductive activity, health, welfare status and feeding of dairy cows.

The development of animal-focused technologies began with individual cow identification and now includes sensors to measure characteristics of individual cows. These sensors have activity, weight changes and milk and rumen parameters that may assist in supporting the health, welfare and reproductive management of individual dairy cows. Many of the sensors available for monitoring the reproductive activity, health and welfare status and feeding of dairy cows are described in the EU Industry Innovations Report.

  • Automatic gate timers

    The daily task of fetching cows for milking and opening gates to exit a paddock can be a repetitive and mundane task. Automatic gate timers release gates through a latch mechanism, but 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.

    More information

    Adoption of new technologies: Automatic gate timers (PDF, 598KB)

    Prepared by the former Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries (now Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR)), this fact sheet describes how automatic gate timers work and the implications of installing and using this technology. In addition, the cost:benefit ratio of this technology has been analysed.

  • Cow identification

    Electronic cow identification

    Individual cow identification enables tracking of dairy cows and their associated herd and performance records.

    More information

    Precision Dairy Technology: Electronic Cow Identification (PDF, 235KB)

    This fact sheet describes two types of cow identification that have two distinct purposes: the official National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) and the within-farm cow management identification system.

  • Heat detection activity meters

    The majority of automated heat detection systems in Australia work by monitoring cow activity. These automated systems have been developed to detect increased activity either as steps or neck movements indicating a heat event.

    More information

    These fact sheets describe how the activity meter works and how dairy farmers can use the information generated by the technology.

    Precision dairy technology: Heat detection activity meters (PDF, 1.2MB)

    Contact details of the major suppliers, together with approximate cost and other relevant information.

    Guide to Automated Heat Detection Technologies (PDF, 3.7MB)

    Detailed information on various automated heat detection technologies currently available in Australia.

    Case studies

    These case studies describe how dairy farmers have implemented activity meters on-farm and their experiences with this technology. This information is presented as a short document and a video with the dairy farmer.

    Mark Billing, Colac, Victoria

    Craiglands Dairy is a family-owned partnership run by Mark Billing and his wife. They milk about 450 cows on a 280–hectare dryland milking platform west of Colac in Victoria.

    Precision dairy technology: Heat detection activity meters: Case study: Mark Billing (PDF, 1.5MB)

    AJohn van Adrichem, Togari, Tasmania

    John and Caroline van Adrichem and their son Arjan milk about 255 cows with four robots on their 80–hectare dryland milking platform at Togari in Tasmania.

    Precision dairy technology: Heat detection activity meters: Case study: John and Caroline van Adrichem (PDF, 1.4MB)

  • Laboratory tests for pregnancy diagnosis in dairy cows

    Reliable methods for detecting early pregnancy in dairy cows include rectal palpation, ultrasound examination and laboratory-based tests that target proteins or hormones that become elevated in blood and/or milk during pregnancy.

    More information

    Laboratory tests for pregnancy diagnosis in dairy cows (PDF, 1.5MB)

    This fact sheet describes the commerically available laboratory tests for pregnancy diagnosis in dairy cows. Contact details of the major suppliers and the pros and cons of laboratory testing generally is included.

    Case studies

    Case studies demonstrate how dairy farmers have used laboratory tests for diagnosing pregnancy in their cows and their experiences with the technology.

    Greg Rogers, Katunga, Victoria

    Greg Rogers milks 260 cows, mainly Friesians and a few Jerseys, at Katunga in northern Victoria.

    Case Study: Greg Rogers: Laboratory tests for pregnancy diagnosis in dairy cows (PDF, 2MB)

    Pam Malcolm, Invergordon, Victoria

    Pam Malcolm has been running Paringa Holsteins at Invergordon in northern Victoria since 1982. She milks 200 cows in a split-calving system.

    Case Study: Pam Malcolm: Laboratory tests for pregnancy diagnosis in dairy cows (PDF, 552KB)

  • 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.

    More information

    Precision dairy technology: Walkover weigh scale systems (PDF, 3.0MB)

    This fact sheet describes how the walkover weigh scales work and how dairy farmers can use the information generated by the technology. It also includes contact details of the major suppliers and approximate costs.

    Case studies

    Case studies demonstrate how dairy farmers have implemented walkover weigh scales on-farm and their experiences with this technology. This information is presented as a short document and a video with the dairy farmer.

    Mark Billing, Colac, Victoria

    Craiglands Dairy is a family partnership owned by Mark Billing and his wife. They milk about 450 cows on 280–hectares dry land milking platform west of Colac in Victoria.

    Precision dairy technology: Walkover weigh scale systems: Case study: Mark Billing (PDF, 1.9MB)

Downloads

  • EU Industry Innovations Report

    (09 July 2020)
    PDF,1.79 MB
  • Adoption of automatic gate timers

    (09 July 2020)
    PDF,598.2 KB
  • Electronic cow identification

    (09 July 2020)
    PDF,252.97 KB
  • Precision dairy technology Heat detection activity meters

    (09 July 2020)
    PDF,1.16 MB
  • Guide to Automated Heat Detection Technologies

    (09 July 2020)
    PDF,3.74 MB
  • Heat detection activity meters case study Mark Billing

    (14 July 2020)
    PDF,1.49 MB
  • Heat detection activity meters case study John and Caroline van Adrichem

    (09 July 2020)
    PDF,1.38 MB
  • Laboratory tests for pregnancy diagnosis in dairy cows

    (09 July 2020)
    PDF,1.48 MB
  • Case Study Greg Rogers Laboratory test for pregnancy diagnosis in dairy cows

    (09 July 2020)
    PDF,1.57 MB
  • Case Study Pam Malcolm Laboratory test for pregnancy diagnosis in dairy cows

    (09 July 2020)
    PDF,551.53 KB
  • Precision dairy technology Walkover weigh scale systems

    (09 July 2020)
    PDF,3.01 MB
  • Precision dairy technology Walkover weigh scale systems case study Mark Billing

    (09 July 2020)
    PDF,1.49 MB

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