Tracking fitness is a trend that continues to rise, with about 14 million Fitbit devices being sold in 2018. The opportunity to track fitness goals, heart rate and sleep patterns is appealing to many people as part of efforts to monitor overall health, and now farmers are taking advantage of this technology too!
The use of activity monitoring technology can help dairy herds of all sizes maximize labor and resources and offers farmers more control than ever before, with capabilities that even allow them to check cows and make decisions when away from the farm.
Here are nine benefits to using activity monitoring:
1. Easy, accurate record keeping. Activity monitoring tracks location 24/7 and heat status, while also identifying herd performance trends.
2. Real-time decision making. If something is wrong, an alert is triggered and immediate steps can be taken to correct the situation.
3. Improved labor efficiency. With activity monitoring, less time needs to be spent on checking whether a cow is in heat, herd health or searching for cows.
4. Decreased medication and labor costs for sick cows. Activity monitoring can detect sick cows before humans, oftentimes being able to catch the illness before symptoms even arise.
5. Reduced health issues. With continual monitoring of eating, rumination patterns and inactive behavior, farmers can quickly detect diseases like ketosis, mastitis and pneumonia.
6. Improved cow longevity. Reduced health issues means improved herd productivity and longevity.
7. Improved cow comfort. Activity monitoring provides data that can help make more informed decisions on housing, handling, nutrition and activity needs.
8. Improved conception rate. Sensors are able to identify the optimal breeding time more accurately, which improves breeding results.
9. Peace of mind. With constant monitoring over the herd, activity monitoring gives farmers the confidence to be able to be gone for the farm for business or personal occasions.
Anything that helps with managing cow health and comfort, United Dairymen of Arizona is all for!