2014-01-27   facebooktwitterrss
Calving Without Catastrophes!

Suckler and pedigree beef herd owners can now enjoy the same peace of mind come calving time as dairy producers thanks to a new mobile monitoring system.

Good news for Ulster farmers from guest speaker John Maher of PharVet addressing the 2014 NI Blue Cattle Club AGM in Ballinderry.

John Maher, right, PharVet, demonstrating the Vel’Phone Calving Detection System to Jason Edgar and Basil Dougherty

John Maher, right, PharVet, demonstrating the Vel’Phone Calving Detection System to Jason Edgar and Basil Dougherty

“Operated by a rechargeable battery the Medria radio-base is fully mobile and at the heart of a package that warns you when a cow is about to calve and when she has calved,” John explained.

“This same Medria radio-base unit can also be used to detect when cows are coming on heart and when a health problem is brewing up.”

Continuing John explained how the Medria company in France has over 4,000 of these units in use on farms across Europe including almost 80 in the RoI and another 20 in Northern Ireland.

“Being fully mobile the base unit can be set up in the corner of a field or at a shed on an out farm. From there, using information from Vel’Phone vaginal thermometers placed in cows coming near calving, the system monitors your animals.

“Once temperature changes indicate calving is beginning a text message is sent to your phone with another to follow once the cow has pushed the re-useable thermometer our as the calf arrives.

“Unlike some systems designed mainly for milk producers the Medria base unit being fully mobile means your cows are kept safe 24/7 anywhere on the home farm, on an out farm or on conacre ground.

“Leading farmers in the Republic, such as Jarlath Duggan in Laois, have been using the Medria system for over a year. As agricultural contractors and milk producers, who have one of the best of Belgian Blue pedigree herds Jarlath and his brothers are delighted with their investment.

“For pedigree stock, sucklers and dairy cows it gives peace of mind and saves a huge amount of time,” John Maher affirmed.

The Vel’ Phone calving detection system is available from PharVet (Ireland) Ltd. For further details browse www.pharvet.com to view a video of Vel’ Phone in use.

Medria Elevage of France has also developed the HeatPhone heat detection system for heifers, dairy and beef cows.

The HeatPhone collar monitors cow movement and cud chewing for a 95% reliable detection of peak heat at the start of the 12 to 18 hours optimal period for insemination or mating.

Unlike many other systems HeatPhone covers all five of the following; movement, cudding, riding, feeding and rest period. Information is again collected by the Medria radio base for onward transmission to your phone and PC.

The third part of the system available linked to the same mobile base station is the San’Phone, which informs you when a cow is showing very early indications of illness or injury.

Taking questions John explained that many farmers started using the base station and just the Vel’Phone package to reduce the risk of catastrophes at calving.

“However they invariable move on to make even better use of the base station to help get cows in calf on time and receive an early warning of a cow going ‘off colour.’


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