A strategic partnership between AI Services (NI) and IceRobotics, the livestock behavioural monitoring specialist, will offer Northern Ireland’s dairy sector a new level in fertility and herd health management.
AI Services is the first company in Northern Ireland to become an advocate for CowAlert, the ground-breaking fertility, health and welfare monitoring technology developed by IceRobotics.
Already a number of Northern Ireland’s top dairy farmers are benefitting from the collaboration, including the Sayers brothers who farm a 200-strong dairy herd in Donemana, County Tyrone.
As the leading supplier of dairy and beef genetics as well as insemination services, AI Services main objective is to boost its service by endorsing a heat detection system which delivers accuracy and cost efficiencies for dairy farmers.
Unlike other technologies on the market which focus purely on heat detection, CowAlert monitors wider health issues, including lameness, lying time and mobility. As the stress of lameness is detrimental to conception, early identification and treatment has a positive impact on the insemination process, cutting costs and adding long-term value.
John Sproule, AI Services Area Manager for Fermanagh and Tyrone, comments: “Accurate heat detection is a top priority for us, and while other systems deliver this function, we were looking for more.
“In our opinion CowAlert operates at a higher level as it acts as the farmer’s ‘eyes and ears’. It constantly monitors activity and provides accurate data which alerts the farmer to any significant changes in an animal’s behaviour or in its health in general.
“Early lameness detection and improved lying times are particularly important as they directly impact on the conception process. Ultimately, the better informed we are of any potential issues, the better the outcome in terms of the herd breeding programme.”
Willie Cuthbertson, National Account Manager of IceRobotics, added: “We’re delighted to work in partnership with the experts at AI Services and look forward to introducing the local dairy sector to the many benefits, efficiencies and cost savings which CowAlert will deliver.”
Gordon Sayers commented on the new technology, saying: “We’ve only started using CowAlert and already we’re finding it so useful, as previously we were spotting cows on heat by sight. The heat detection module is incredibly accurate and is identifying animals that we never would have spotted ourselves. The lameness and lying time analysis is also of real benefit, and we’re looking forward to availing of the other modules more fully over the next few months.”