Alistair Smyth runs a 200 cow herd at Dromore, Co Down
He explained: “As my herd has expanded I have had less time available per job. Fertility on farm dictates how efficient and profitable my business is.
“With this in mind, I invested in ABS Breeder tags, to target an improvement in heat detection on my heifers. Before breeder tags heats were hard to pick up, I was using some AI but needed the stock bull to help catch the rest. I have 80 heifers to serve this year and wanted to maximise future genetic gain by using high PLI AI sires.
“The system was simple to install and the computer program and data are easy to understand. The pedometers have been very accurate and I am delighted with the first results.
“The majority of heats are occurring at night, heats I would not have picked up otherwise. I have scanned 30 heifers so far, all of which held to the first service! Brilliant.”
Gareth Taylor milks 290 cows at Kircubbin, Co Down, producing milk for the renowned Glastry Ice Cream business.
He said: “My decision to invest in a heat detection system was borne from a desire to save on labour but at the same time increase the number of cows being served on a daily basis. The results have been great.
“The system was installed just over a year ago. Our heat detection has improved and subsequently we have reduced calving index by 14 days. I now have more time to invest in other jobs on the farm, with the knowledge that the Breeder Tags are monitoring my cows for bulling activity.”
Matt Twomey, farms at Monataggart, Donoughmore in north west Cork.
“I run my 140 cow spring calving herd as a one man operation and thus need an accurate, efficient heat detection system,” he explained.
“The Genus breeder tags use a unique technology whereby data is updated every six minutes, 24 hours a day and is transmitted wirelessly. With a range of up to one Km the system is well suited for grazing cows and is also ideal for use on bulling heifers.
“In addition to measuring activity, the pedometer collects extra information including step count and lying time. The herd was scanned early last October and only had a 4% empty rate from 100% AI usage.”