Dairy innovator, smaXtec has launched TruDrinking, a new function which accurately records individual cow’s water intake.

This latest technical advance is a first in the sector-leading health monitoring system and helps farmers to optimise milk production and animal management.

An optimal water supply is essential for both health, as well as being an early indicator for milk production. Chris Howarth, smaXtec’s global sales director believes the credo ‘drink plenty of water’ applies as much to dairy cows as it does to humans.

“Water is often the forgotten nutrient in dairy herds,” says Mr Howarth. “If a cow drinks too little, her feed intake will reduce, and her milk yield will drop. With TruDrinking, farmers can immediately detect any disruption to normal water consumption. This can be an early indicator of emerging health problems or flag a technical problem with the water supply.”

The technology behind TruDrinking records how often and how many litres of water each cow consumes daily. Data is retrieved directly in the cows’ reticulum using a unique bolus and AI-supported applications which measure internal changes to body temperature after each drinking cycle. TruDrinking reliably tracks water intake which is monitored without any additional effort using smaXtec’s real-time system.

Since drinking behaviour is an important indicator of health, TruDrinking provides particularly valuable information around calving. Only when a cow takes in enough water is her appetite stimulated and a high feed intake guaranteed. This insight is therefore invaluable in helping to prevent costly metabolic diseases.

It also highlights practical issues such as technical problems with the water supply such as if a drinking trough fails or freezes. This reduces the amount of time spent checking drinkers, as smaXtec alerts operators in the event of irregularities, helping to reduce labour costs.

“The addition of TruDrinking to the smaXtec system provides even deeper insights into animal health and further supports farmers in keeping their herds healthier, their milk yields consistently high and their farms more sustainable and successful,” Mr Howarth adds.

It is integrated into the existing smaXtec system and is immediately available as a new function to all smaXtec farms without further intervention.