The growth of on farm cow monitoring technology allows us to pick up cow health conditions earlier allowing us to make management and treatment decisions quicker and thus increasing the likelihood of a positive outcome for our cows.
There is another part too, once we have embarked on a treatment decision or management decision, we can monitor how effective or ineffective they have been by monitoring their return to ‘normal’ function – ruminating, eating, temperature and activity. Lame cows, Mastitis cows, Sick cow, Surgery cows; all of these can be watched physically and digitally on their recovery journey.
The availability of this level of digital monitoring, combined with the farmers observations enables us to support the recovery with a greater degree of accuracy as well as use it as a tool to determine if intervention or re-examination is required to make sure we achieve the best outcome for the animal.
Cow 10 and her C-Section
At 5am on the 7th of November (the red arrow on the graph opposite), Cow 10 a wee Dexter flagged up a distress signal, this is when the Allflex collar noted she began to calve.
A calf’s head was presented at 10:00am on the 7th of November and monitored by the owner. When no progress was made by mid afternoon a vet was called and a caesarean section was begun (demarcated by the black arrow). From this point rumination and activity declined sharply (not surprising as we opened her abdomen to get the calf out), at 5am on the 8th of November, at which point it began to track upwards. By 6am on the 9th of November rumination and activity had returned to close to normal (blue arrow). Then by 9pm on the 10th of November her eating had returned to normal (orange arrow).
She was watched closely after surgery for complications and her return to ‘normal’ behavior. What was great about having this extra information was that it allowed us to monitor her recovery and make sure it was going as expected without complications (metritis, subclinical calcium and magnesium issues, peritonitis, surgical site infections, retained membranes).