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Ketosis: How much does timely detection save you?

One in every 3 cows is affected by subclinical ketosis, a disorder that is caused by a negative energy balance after calving. The cost per sick cow can be as high as USD$290. Nedap CowControl registers the first signs of the disorder before you become aware of them, making prompt intervention possible.

Lactating cows will generally receive the most attention on your farm. Which is logical, since they are the source of your income. But did you know that 80% of health problems on dairy farms occur during the transition period? At the same time, you are less aware of the health status of dry cows. These cows are not being milked and are often kept in a less visible location. Nedap CowControl is thus an indispensable tool for this phase of lactation.

The business economic consequences of ketosis are greater than you might think. Photo: Nedap
The business economic consequences of ketosis are greater than you might think. Photo: Nedap

Early detection with Nedap CowControl

The SmartTag is located on the cow’s neck and provides measurements, 24 hours a day, of 3 things that are particularly important for the detection of subclinical ketosis:

  1. Eating time,
  2. Rumination time
  3. Inactive time (when a cow is neither eating nor ruminating).

This measuring of the duration of individual behaviour is unique. Research shows that cows suffering from subclinical ketosis after calving eat and ruminate for 20 minutes a day less during the non-lactation period. These animals spend on average 40 minutes a day less chewing, and more in inactivity (see Figure 1). You may not notice this in everyday practice, but Nedap CowControl does. Thanks to the warning system, you can intervene promptly and prevent problems arising.

Financial consequences

The business economic consequences of ketosis are greater than you might think: besides the direct costs, such as veterinarian care, medication and the possible death of the cow, there are also many indirect costs, such as additional labour and loss of income: reduced milk yield, a decline in reproduction and greater chance of early depletion.

In a herd of a 1,000 cows, with an average ketosis rate of 30%, this will cost you USD$ 87,000 a year. If you succeed in lowering the ketosis rate from 30 to 25% thanks to early detection with Nedap CowControl, you can save USD$14,500 per year.

Interested in Nedap CowControl?

Would you like to get immediate warning if your cows are at risk of ketosis? Learn more at nedap.com/cowcontrol or contact your local Nedap distributor. They can provide comprehensive information about Nedap CowControl technology and how it can benefit your business.