Afimilk technology identifies how a common daily habit was decreasing fat production
When it comes to herd management, there’s countless variables that can negatively impact performance and profitability. And the root cause isn’t always easy to see.
On one farm, a producer who had installed AfiLab was seeing declines in milk fat, but only in one group of cows. It was the first group to be fed each day, but all the groups received the same ration so the decline didn’t make sense. The nutritionist was balancing the ration, and after checking the feed in the silo there was no clear reason for the variation.
On this particular farm, the producer had also installed AfiCollar. AfiCollar is a cow neck collar that provides data on rumination that can be viewed by cow or group. A review of the data showed the group had lower rumination time than other groups, too. But why?
The next day, the herdsman went to observe the group. While all the groups were fed the same ration, different loads were mixed at different times. When the feeder arrived that morning, he prepped the first load, set it to mix and then did what so many people do – left to get a cup of coffee. While the coffee run didn’t take long, it was long enough for the feed to get overmixed and for the load to lose effective fiber. Less fiber meant less cud chewing and not enough production of sodium bicarbonate. The result? Less butter fat.
The solution? The feeder now gets his cup of coffee before he starts the first load of the day. With that one simple change, the group’s components became comparable to the rest of the herd in just a couple weeks.
That small habit had a big impact, and it wouldn’t have been caught without the help of AfiLab and cow monitoring with AfiCollar. That smart herd management.