Bill & Michelle Burgess
While we have only had CowManager in place for a short time it has already alerted us to instances of mastitis prior to clinical signs being present.
It has enabled us to treat multiple cases of milk fever before it became an issue. Installation of the system was straight forward due to the excellent service provided by the CowManager rep. We are very excited about using CowManager.
Craig Lahmert, Palmerston North
I have been using the CowManager system for over five years now and have ear tags on my entire herd (250 cows).
I have found the ear sensors to be of high quality, the tags are robust and stay in the cows ears. Over the past 5 years I have lost almost no tags with a maximum of 2 – 3 ear tags a year. The battery life of the tags is proving to be brilliant with no issues what so ever until the 5th year running in which there is a minimal amount of tags that will need to be replaced.
The range of the CowManager routers has proven to be true. I use 5 routers on a 100ha farm in the Manawatu. I use a mobile router alongside the stationary routers and have never had any issues collecting the information from my herd.
I use the CowManager Fertility module as my only method of heat detection. CowManager has proven to maintain a high and stable pregnancy rate as well as cutting huge amounts of labor and costs. I have not had to use tail paint, heat detection patches or any other method of heat detection since I installed CowManager.
Ludemann, Short Version.
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We are a small family owned farm situated about an hour south of Christchurch near the small town of Ashburton. We currently milk 470 Friesian/Crossbred cows on a predominantly pasture based system with spring calving.
During the 2014/15 season we began to investigate various cow monitoring systems available in New Zealand. Our main driver being that we wanted to eliminate bulls from our dairy system. We liked the fact CowManager offered 24-hour real-time coverage of the cows and not merely coverage as they entered the dairy shed. We also felt the ear tags would be more durable and less invasive than either pedometers or collars.
The initial installation of the routers on farm was very quick and easy, taking just one morning. At the time we started with CowManager we were milking 600 cows and so we tackled the application of the Sensors over a 3-day period. In most cases we were able to simply fit the Sensors over top of the existing EID tags
In the beginning we only purchased the fertility module however we were able to trial the health and feeding modules for a few months. We quickly realised the Health module was an extremely worthwhile tool for our business and have since gone on to purchase this module also. In the 3 seasons since we have been using CowManager, we have not lost a single cow to milk fever!
Probably the biggest advantage of having the CowManager App on your phone is the being able to still monitor what is happening remotely. It gives us great oversight without having to actually be on farm 24/7 and having to constantly check in with staff.
When we purchased the system, we estimated a 3-year return on investment as we expected to reduce our empty rate by 3%. What we hadn’t planned for was the savings we would make on not losing cows to milk fever and costs associated with treating downer cows. So, although our in-calf rate has remained consistently 3 to 5% better than our district average, the real savings have most definitely come via animal health. The system ultimately paid for itself in two years on our farm.
Ultimately CowManager has done everything we wanted it to do and more. It has allowed us to remove bulls from our system and shorten our calving pattern by being able to use short gestation semen to tail end with. This has reduced our biosecurity risks, health and safety concerns re handling bulls, cow bulling injuries, and ultimately reduced the unproductive hours spent drafting cows at the dairy shed. We would no longer be prepared to run our farming operation here without this tool.