BCS: Simplified and standardised

07-12-2017 | |
BCS: Simplified and standardised. Photo: Herbert Wiggerman
BCS: Simplified and standardised. Photo: Herbert Wiggerman

The convenience of mobile and digital technology, combined with the power of ‘big data’, can bring cattle health to the next level.

This is what animal health company Bayer aims to accomplish through its updated smartphone application* for body condition scoring.

Productivity losses

Body condition scoring is a hugely important part of herd health management as it offers a reliable way to assess the health of dairy cows across the entire production cycle. Cows with an inappropriate body condition are at increased risk of various metabolic diseases, as well as an adverse effect on fertility. These conditions are major causes of productivity loss and adverse well-being of dairy cows, so monitoring body condition scores across a herd is a key first step to ensuring optimal health and well-being, as well as productivity and profitability.

Photo: Herbert Wiggerman

Photo: Herbert Wiggerman

Alerts for sub-optimal BCS

Bayer developed the app in 2014 with the goal of minimise visual subjectivity of body condition scoring with an innovative photo-and-line fit system, allowing for accurate and standardised assessment of individual cows, with just a smartphone. By partnering with Dairy Data Warehouse, the company has been able to update the application with alerts for cows of sub-optimal body condition scores that need to be attended to, and comprehensive dashboard that is synchronized with the farm’s existing herd management system. This dashboard also draws in ‘big data’ from external sources to offer dairy professionals further insights to the health condition of the herd.

*Bayer BCS Cowdition is available free-for-download from the AppStore and GooglePlay. The update will be released progressively from November 2017. Current users of the app will be automatically informed of the new update.

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Emmy Koeleman Freelance editor