Body condition scoring for dairy cows made easy and accurate

27-08-2015 | |
Body condition scoring for dairy cows made easy and accurate

DeLaval launches the world’s first automated body condition scoring system for cows, taking the guess work out of an otherwise laborious process. It provides the farmer with an instantaneous, accurate body condition score, without the need of any human analysis.

The technology is based on a 3D camera fixed on a gate.  Once a cow passes under the camera, the system recognises the movement and selects the best still image of the cow in the video sequence. The image is converted into an accurate body condition score.

Accurate scoring of your dairy herd made simple

“Most farmers understand the concept and benefits of body condition scoring but for various reasons they are not doing it today. Now that we have a cost-effective solution for consistent, regular and accurate scoring, we see that the potential is huge. Achieving an accurate body condition score is now extremely simple. It gives consistent and daily feedback on the condition of a herd without any work on the part of the farmer. That’s valuable information that can have significant benefits for the health of the cow and to the running and profitability of the farm,” says Fernando Mazeris, Vice President Farm Management Support Systems at DeLaval.

accurate body condition scoring for dairy cows

Measuring a cow’s body conditions through all production stages

Making sure your herd is healthy is quite simply, a profitable move. By consistently and regularly measuring a cow’s body condition score, a farmer can ensure that every cow’s body condition score is good through all stages of the lactation cycle. DeLaval’s own studies project that regular scoring and optimizing the score could help the farmer to:

  • Reduce cases of ketosis on farms by half. Reduce the feed cost by trimming down the feed on overweight cows.
  • Increase milk yield from a herd where all cows have the optimum body condition. The system can mean an increase of up to 545kg during the first 120 days of lactation.
  • Reduce the number of open days by bringing the body condition score back to an optimum level as soon as possible after calving and thereby returning the cow to its normal cyclical ovarian activity. Conception rate can be improved by 50%.
  • Save the farmer time since the need for manual body condition scoring is gone. The alternative is that it will save the farmer the cost of bringing in resources such as feed advisors or veterinarians to do the body condition scoring.
  • Eliminates the subjective nature of scoring.

DeLaval is now selling its DeLaval body condition scoring BCS in a number of countries in Europe, North and South America and Asia. By the end of the year, the system will be sold globally. Today DeLaval body condition scoring BCS is available with DeLaval VMS™ – voluntary milking system and with parlours and rotaries in Q3-2015.

Emmy Koeleman Freelance editor
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