A NEW pedometer-based fertility monitoring system for accurate heat detection, has been launched by Fullwood.
Its new Vitality system – designed and developed in-house – offers two levels of animal observation and identification. The Vitality Now system is a standalone activity monitoring and heat detection system, while the dual-purpose Vitality Plus pedometers also enable electronic identification of individual cows for milking or out-of-parlour feeding.
Both versions link to Fullwood’s Crystal herd management software and use a 3D accelerometer housed within a robust, sealed-for-life ‘tag’. These have up to 400m line-of-sight wireless range, which enables activity data to be remotely captured from any in-range animal.
This makes the new pedometers suited to indoor herds where lactating cows spend 100% of their time within the capture radius of the hub. But they can be suited to grazing herds as each tag can store data for up to 48 hours and are ideal for indoor heifer rearing systems.
They attach to the cow’s leg via an easy to use locked strap, which locks securely into place and each unit has a battery life of up to eight years.
Data collected by the pedometers includes overall activity based on the number of steps taken, number of ‘at rest’ periods and total ‘at rest’ time.
John Baines, technical director at Fullwood, said: “Our research over three decades has shown that pedometers are still the most accurate method for oestrus detection, so it is with some pride that we are now able to offer our own in-house system.
“The system has proven to be extremely accurate, not only in terms of predicting oestrus, but also in terms of enabling herd managers to remotely recognise underlying conditions such as cystic ovaries, embryonic losses and non-cycling cows,” he added.