Here at Nosbush Dairy, we use vast amounts of technology as tools to help us manage our dairy and take the best care of our cows. We use a herd management software called PCDART to manage daily cow events. This program features each cow’s history, such as calvings, inseminations, vaccinations, and milk production, as well as when she is due for her next pregnancy check or vaccination. We genetic test all of our animals. We can pull a hair sample and send it off, and then we receive information about each animal. This includes her parentage, any genetic anomalies, and many genetic markers that tell us her ability to be a healthy and productive cow.
Our milking parlor is monitored by a BECO system and feature automatic detach. This technology allows us to monitor parlor through-put, how long it takes for a cow to be completely milked out, and how our employees are doing. It also alerts us if any equipment is not functioning properly, so we can assure that our cows are getting the best and most gentle milking experience.
Most dairy farms use veterinarians to check if cows are pregnant. Here at Nosbush Dairy, we have our own in-house ultrasound, and our employees are trained to diagnose anything from 30 day pregnancies, cows carrying twins, or reproductive issues such as ovarian cysts.
Another Technology we put to use is the SCR heat detection system. Each cow is fitted with a collar that measures her activity and rumination. When a cow is feeling great, she will spend time resting and ruminating (chewing her cud). A computer program reads and graphs a cow’s level of activity and time spent ruminating. If a cow is in heat, she will be more active about her pen. This sends us an alert that she is ready to be inseminated. Likewise, if a cow is sick, the computer program sends an alert that her levels may have changed, because many times a cow will ruminate less before she even shows symptoms of sickness.
We also have in place various cameras. In an age where everything is at our fingertips, this allows us to check in with the milking parlor, check on cows, or check that our equipment is functioning properly. For example, if the boss is away, he can log in on his smartphone and see that the manure separator is running properly and notify someone if it isn’t.