Afimilk Ltd., a global provider of dairy farm management solutions, has integrated a Calving Alert Service, including a prolonged calving application, into its AfiAct II cow monitoring system.
The new technology will help dairy farmers instantly identify and quickly assist cows experiencing difficult labor, also called dystocia.
"The new Calving Alert Service will help dairy farmers more accurately detect the onset of calving and be better prepared for potentially costly events like dystocia," said Dr. Alon Arazi, a senior member of the Afimilk research team.
Difficult labor is associated with increased calf mortality and morbidity. Studies have shown that up to half of first-calf Holstein cows in the U.S. require intervention from a farmer or veterinarian during labor.
"Monitoring cows for calving is very time-consuming and highly dependent on observers' skills," Arazi said. "Automatic, continuous monitoring is more labor-efficient and allows for 24/7 control."
AfiAct II is the first leg-tag system programmed to issue notifications specifically for prolonged labor. Alerts are sent wirelessly from a leg-mounted sensor to a smartphone when calving begins and again if calving is prolonged.
In addition to calving, AfiAct II detects other conditions based on activity and resting behavior, including estrus, abortion, cow comfort problems and illness.
Another monitoring system offered by Afimilk, Silent Herdsman, features a neck-mounted sensor that detects estrus, cyclic disorders and illness based on cow activity, rumination and eating patterns.
Afimilk is a global leader in farm management software, cow monitoring systems and milk analysis tools for dairy producers in 50 countries.