One in every three 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 290¹. 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 percent of health problems on dairy farms occur during the transition period? At the same time, you probably are less aware of the health status of dry cows. These cows are not being milked, are not in a health protocol and are kept in pens where your staff spends less time. Nedap CowControl is thus an indispensable tool for this phase of lactation.

Early detection with Nedap CowControl
The SmartTag is located on the cow’s neck and provides measurements, 24 hours a day, of three things that are particularly important for the detection of subclinical ketosis: eating time, rumination time and 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 less during the dry period.

These animals spend on average 40 minutes a day less chewing, and more in inactivity. 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.

Graph: Cows suffering from subclinical ketosis after calving spend on average 40 minutes a day less chewing (eating + ruminating) during their entire dry period.

Financial consequences

The economic consequences of ketosis are greater than you might think: besides the direct costs, such as veterinarian care, medication and the possible loss of the cow, there are also many indirect costs, such as additional labour and loss of income: reduced milk yield, lower pregnancy rate and higher culling risk. In a herd of a thousand cows, with an average ketosis rate of 30 percent, this will cost you USD 87,000 a year. If you succeed in lowering the ketosis rate from 30 to 25 percent thanks to early detection with Nedap CowControl, you can save USD 14,500 per year.

¹McArt, J. A. A., Nydam, D. V, & Overton, M. W. (2015 Hyperketonemia in early lactation dairy cattle: a deterministic estimate of component and total cost per case. Journal of Dairy Science, 98(3), 2043–54.