Joe Caroll, Athlacca, Co Limerick – Herd Size 290 cows
Traditionally on our farm we had been using tail painting for our breeding program, but we found it was taking up a huge amount of labour, we were spending far too much of our spring time in the parlour monitoring cows when we should have been out on the farm spending time on other areas.
So really, we were looking for a solution that would reduce time and labour while increasing our heat detection rates. We decided on the HerdInsights heat detection and health monitoring system which we installed last year so we are now into our second breeding season, and have to say we are very pleased with the results in short we have now moved to total AI, eliminated stock bulls and have more cows in calf.
We purchased it through CollinsAgri which enabled us to integrate it with our ATL Drafting system so if the cow is in heat when she comes into the parlour the Herdinsights system alerts the drafting computer and she is automatically drafted when leaving the parlour so in reality we have completely taken the work out of our breeding program.
In terms of cost – looking back I would say the system is almost cost neutral from what we have saved in terms of the wintering, management etc of stock bulls and the fact that from the first season we had more cows in calf the system is certainly paying for itself. Also we have seen great improvements on the health side over the last 12 months with the system allowing us to pick up and deal with cows with mastitis at an early stage.
The support we have received from CollinsAgri and HerdInsights has also been fantastic, any issues or concerns have been dealt with straight away so the back up service has really been fantastic, so overall delighted with the investment.
As Joe outlines installing a system such as Herdinsights provides a wide range of benefits, in addition to the savings on time and labour there are also significant financial savings to be gained with, Teagasc estimating that the cost of each missed heat is an average €250 also there are savings to be gained in terms of a more compact calving season as Teagasc also estimated that a cow calving in May will generate €400 less profit than a cow calving in February, due to higher feed costs and reduced yield for further information on HerdInsights you can contact us today on 021 2428799