Achieving profitability with herds, numbering hundreds and sometimes thousands of animals, requires precision management. This demands knowing the details and state of each animal, having the information at one's finger tips. At the heart of precision farming lies the need to be able to make the correct management decisions on a daily basis. Automatic data collection is the only practical way for achieving a reliable database of information about the animals on the farm.
AfiShepherd is an automated system that captures information about the performance of each animal, builds a database and generates the reports needed for the different aspects and types of decisions required in sheep and goat farms. AfiShepherd is an advanced management tool for the sheep and goat herd farmer and is the product of years of experience and expertise that has been tried, tested and proven in the field.
The AfiShepherd system uses sensors, transponders and state-of-the-art equipment that collect data about the performance of each animal both inside the milking parlor and in the animal pens. The information flows to the AfiShepherd software program located on the farm's PC where it is organized in a sophisticated database ready to be retrieved and presented in illuminating reports for the farm manager.
The system incorporates the following components:
AfiFree™ Milk Meter
The first ICAR* approved milk meter for sheep and goats, specifically designed for small ruminant milk measurement. AfiFree measures milk yield and milk conductivity, using a uniquely designed algorithm that alerts for udder disease. It is a user-friendly device that can stop the milking automatically when the milk-flow ceases thus protecting the animals from over milking.
AfiPass™ Automatic Animal ID System
An electronic RF identification system that automates the animal identification process. This system is based on an array of antennas, a transponder attached to each animal, and the AfiPass controller that sends the ID data to the AfiShepherd software.
This optional addition to the AfiShepherd system is a practical aid to the herd manager. Afi2GO is a portable electronic micro computer for reporting events and animal treatments. The information can later be downloaded to the AfiShepherd database. Afi2GO may be equipped with a reading option for RF identification of the animals being treated.
Benefits of the AfiShepherd System
AfiShepherd provides total control over the milking process and other production factors such as prolificacy and offspring losses. It allows better control over the animals in the herd thus maximizing profits.
AfiShepherd improves many aspects of sheep and goat farming:
Increases herd productivity
AfiShepherd identifies non-productive animals in the herd thereby rationalizing culling procedures resulting in increasing production per animal and profits in a very short time after startup. It enables branch specialization in the animal data in AfiShepherd allows you to assign animals to branches according to their production efficiency. The best milk and/or mutton producers are gathered and bred for optimal lactation/production cycles and those animals with the best prolificacy are bred for maximizing offspring.
Parameters as "empty days" or average days between cycles are analyzed as animal's production criteria, and animal's evaluation is performed according to this information as part of the selection criteria.
Optimizes feed management
Nutrition requirements were designed according to animal's physiological status. In each stage of the production cycle animal should be fed according to the specific needs. Otherwise, a mismatch may occur between animal's need that can cause an undernourished feeding or an overfeeding situation. In such cases, animal's production may be harmed or health problems may be caused. In order to avoid such cases, appropriate adjustment of the ration is essential, and the right timing is given by the specific report generated by the software.
The management software offers you the option to characterize animal's status on time, then create new groups according to the new status, and switch the nutrition level according the new status. Timing is crucial in relating to those changes, and the management software can offer the tool for that.
Improves individual animal production
AfiShepherd enables genetic improvement of the animals, assignment of semen according to the destination of the offspring, and controls the balance between production of milk and production of mutton.
With AfiShepherd management and decision making in sheep and goat farms is systematic and straight forward.
Highly reliable data, analyzed and presented in ergonomically designed management reports gives the manager complete control of the herd and the dairy farm. With AfiShepherd you will discover in a very short time that life in a sheep and goat farm can be less stressful and extremely profitable.