Knowledge Center

Frequently Asked Questions - AfiLab

AfiLab is an inline sensor that can detect several characteristics of the milk in real time as each cow is milking.

It enables you to prevent losses at the herd/group and individual cow's level by directing you towards farm practices improvements and/or prompt treatment when needed. It also enables you to monitor effects of farm management changes or treatment protocols.  

  1. You can detect metabolic disorders that cost you a lot of money, especially those that are subclinical and therefore not visible*. Deviations of milk components reveal subclinical ketosis in fresh cows 2-4 days before clinical disease shows. More and more research shows that treating subclinical ketosis improves milk production in that lactation by up to 7%**. It also reveals sub-acute rumen acidosis (SARA) which can cause diarrhea, decrease in appetite, and milk loss in the short term, as well as laminitis and lameness in the long term - AfiLab enables you to identify bad metabolic situations early to implement management changes and prevent adverse events, short and long term.
  2. You can detect feeding problems in a few hours, which otherwise can take you days to weeks to determine by clinical signs and milk production drops that already mean heavy economic losses.
  3. You can detect most mastitis events (also invisible/sub-clinical) in addition to improve milk quality by discarding blood residues and alerts for system cleaning issues. Enables prompt and effective treatment.

In a trial conducted at Guelph, the median incidence of subclinical ketosis (BHBA 1.4 Mmol/L) in untreated cows was 41 % for the first 9 weeks of lactation.The four highest herds had incidence rates above 65%. Identification of positive cows earlier in lactation might allow time for prevention of subsequent Clinical disease. (Duffield et al, 1998)

** The costs of SCK in affected cows are substantial and include lost milk yield (up to about 7%), increased risk for herd removal in early lactation, and increased risk for displaced abomasum. (Oetzel, 2013)

You should look at the list every day, in order to treat cows early and get the best outcome and return to production faster.

Very close, when a cow is in "red" in the list, you can be sure that she's in negative energy balance and she must be treated for ketosis. Tests in blood or urine may not be positive because they are much more likely to change with recent feeding or drinking. Watch the Ketosis video for more information. 

The following graph shows a Ketosis event: (Cow 8169, 6th lactation, 72 DIM)

Follow the treatment protocol for Ketosis recommended by your consulting veterinarian*.

Monitor these cows for at least 3 days to make sure they are improving. If they don’t improve, call your veterinarian to diagnose possible underlying issues such as liver damage.

* It appears that a bolus of propylene glycol is necessary for maximum effect, since mixing in a total mixed ration is not as efficacious as either an oral drench or when mixed with a  small  quantity  of grain (Christenson et aI, 1995)

Yes you can. Lactose data is already used in generating alerts of milk line cleaning problems and compromised milk quality. In the near future it will also be part of improved mastitis detection application. Currently you have the option to look at lactose curves to evaluate herd and individual cow's udder health status 

The following graph shows a clinical Mastitis event: (Cow 8596, 3rd lactation, 144 DIM)

Classic clinical mastitis event typical of Gram [-] infection - conductivity and SCC go up while lactose and milk go down.

  1. Use CMT to locate the affected quarter/s – sampling an affected quarter for culture & sensitivity is highly recommended
  2. Use pain relief agent (vet approved only) and frequent milking (in addition to routine milkings) to ease and stop disease progression.

* Consult with your veterinarian to establish a treatment protocol for mastitis. Make sure to follow the treatment protocol recommended by your veterinarian.

 

You should check on the feed monitoring traffic light every morning; if it is green, have no worries. But if one of the lights is red the system enables you to drill down in order to locate the problematic groups using milk fat and protein content and their trends. In a few hours from feeding or management changes you will have insight that enables you to effectively react to unfavorable changes in feed ingredients/nutrients in order to keep ration balanced.

According to Florida University tests results, a week of AfiLab sequential components results is more accurate than a single weekly DHI milk test.

We are currently working with two breeding associations (Israeli and Danish) to ensure this.

If the system is clean, it is enough to calibrate the AfiLab units every 6 months. It can be done according to bulk tank or by individual cow test results (loading latest results into AfiFarm). When there are cleaning problems, frequency of calibration should be increased.

We will have a better solution for SCC measurements; we are currently working to ensure that. But in the meantime you should use the highest range of the categorical SCC values (>400,000) as an indication of mastitis whenever it is accompanied with one or more of the other relevant parameters changes (conductivity↑, milk ↓, blood↑ or lactose ↓ [<4.5]). Then you can use the CMT in order to locate the affected quarter to treat. If high SCC is accompanied with one of the behavior parameters changes (activity, rest time or rest bout or feeding behavior) it can serve as an indication of wellbeing issues such as heat stress, painful events (indigestion with colic for example) or fearful events the animal experienced.

AfiMilk MCS (real time Milk Classification Service) facilitates milk supply chain optimization, provides higher value to milk processors and allows premium prices to farmers. It is a breakthrough solution for enhancing milk value and significantly improving cheese production and yields. Milk is classified in real time during milking and diverted to two different tanks according to its coagulation potential, one with milk optimized for cheese production and the other with quality milk for other dairy products. Moreover there is a great value when it comes to sustainability aspects. AfiMilk MCS enables producing much more cheese from same amount of milk. The classified milk also less processed at the milk plant, therefore actually decreases man's footprint. The solution is based on AfiLab on-line optical analysis.

For more details, please visit www.afimilkmcs.com