Animal Welfare & Afimilk

herd management software

Did you know?

1. Farms with a higher welfare awareness also had higher annual milk yields. With an annual mean difference of 1000 L of milk per cow between farms with higher and lower awareness scores. [1]
2. Improvements in human-animal interactions at dairy farms have the potential to improve animal performance in the dairy industry. Studies show the effects of the attitude and behaviour of stock persons on productivity of dairy cows. [2]

Animal welfare is a primary criterion of social sustainability. With sustainability being a pillar of our core values, Afimilk works together with farmers who provide the best welfare possible to their herds, supplementing them with tools and best practices for improving animal care.
The task of raising food-producing animals is an enormous responsibility and a successful farm starts with providing the cows with the best possible conditions, thus animal health and welfare considerations must factor into productivity optimization plans.
Afimilk’s concept of Herd Management incorporates elements of cow welfare in many of its developments and applications.

The Five Freedoms

Afimilk embraces the five freedoms adopted by the World Organization for Animal Health:
1. Freedom from Hunger, Malnutrition, and Thirst
2. Freedom from Fear and Distress
3. Freedom from Heat Stress and Physical Discomfort
4. Freedom from Pain, Injury, and Disease
5. Freedom to Express Normal Patterns of Behaviour

The five freedoms are the basis of cows’ welfare. These underline the core needs to be translated to on-farm actions like supplying free feed and clean water, arranging comfortable bedding, ventilation, and cooling, to coordinating housing accommodating social needs, playful interactions, and stress-free routines.

Cow collar for better performance

The Role of Technology in Animal Welfare

Technology, such as sensors and recording software, helps farms evaluate animal welfare. A considerable amount of data and records are needed to record animal behavior, health, and welfare conditions.

Our products

An advanced cow monitoring system is a good starting point for data-based animal welfare. In today’s market, trust is ultimately achieved by providing complete transparency around animal welfare. A cow monitoring system offers a great deal of the data needed.

Our system can monitor group’s hourly rest time. This value may vary in a particular group depending on bedding condition & stoking density. Moreover, research shows cows prioritize lying down over feeding, following deprivation of both, or when time budgets are restricted in some way to make them choose one over the other.

Our system can monitor group’s hourly panting time. This value may vary depending on the environment and the cooling options in a group. This feature is critical not only for monitoring negative influences of heat stress like productivity and reproduction but also for the animals’ distress.

  • Afifarm software + Afi2Go prime App
    Monitors cow KPIs that are proxies for good animal welfare, such as fertility performance, disease rate, and longevity. These tools enable the farmer to treat sick animals in a timely manner and elevate suffering. Better yet, it ensures farmers do not miss the subtle signs of disease.

These are just some of the features that allow detection and appropriate responsiveness to the cow’s needs.
Keeping cows healthy and happy is part of the daily ongoing routine of the farm. As part of the ongoing routine,Afifarm can assist with sorting cows for routine treatments as hoof trimming, vaccinations and other treatments needed.
In addition, an effective milking process is ensured with milking analysis tools (such as MPC, Afilab, and Afifarm) to identify potential problems like mastitis and ketosis at an early enough stage.
The bottom line, evaluating animal welfare is complicated, but the use of Afimilk’s automated solutions adds objective means of evaluation and allows animal care to be more precise for the induvial and group level.

References

[1] Weyl-Feinstein S, Lavon Y, Yaffa Kan N, Weiss-Bakal M, Shmueli A, Ben-Dov D, Malka H, Faktor G, Honig H. Welfare Issues on Israeli Dairy Farms: Attitudes and Awareness of Farm Workers and Veterinary Practitioners. Animals (Basel). 2021 Jan 24;11(2):294. doi: 10.3390/ani11020294. PMID: 33498914; PMCID: PMC7912428.

[2] Metz, J. H. M. 1985. The reaction of cows to a short-term deprivation of lying. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 13:301–307.

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