Latest Silent Herdsman raises the bar in dairy heat detection

Improved sensitivity for monitoring movement and the ability to group cows are important new features in the latest version of NMR's heat detection system Silent Herdsman®. Released this autumn and now updating all current systems on farm, this latest version brings even more accurate herd monitoring for the dairy herd.

"The improvement in sensitivity selection and the ability to group cows on the system means that producers can customise Silent Herdsman® to suit their herd for optimal performance," says NMR manager Jonathan Davies. "It allows cows to be grouped in stages of lactation or lactation number for example. And if one group is generally more active than another group, the sensitivity can be fine-tuned so that movement changes show up more clearly.

"On many units it is very useful to group cows by lactation number or stage of lactation for heat detection purposes. "And typically, a group of second lactation cows will not show the general level of activity that a group of heifers show. With Silent Herdsman® version 2 the sensitivity to movement can be increased for these older cows - so small changes show up more clearly. And it can be reduced for the heifers. This makes it easier to spot variations and improves the interpretation and accuracy of data."

Silent Herdsman collar in use

Developed by Scottish-based Embedded Technology Solutions, Silent Herdsman® uses advanced motion technology to monitor and record individual cow behaviour 24/7. Data passes from an intelligent processor situated on a robust cow collar to a farm base station then on to the farm computer system. Users are alerted when changes in the cow's behaviour indicate heat from a touch screen monitor typically located in the dairy.

The intelligent Silent Herdsman® cow collar automatically calibrates itself to the cow's natural movement pattern within 72 hours. Users now have the ability to fine tune the system using the sensitivity setting provided. "Whilst not all users will want to adjust sensitivity or group their cows, those with larger herds or with seasonal calving patterns may prefer to take advantage of the new features," adds Mr Davies.

Silent Herdsman® version 2 is being demonstrated at Agriscot, Ingliston on November 16, 2011. For more information contact NMR customer services on 0844 7255567 or send an email to customerservices@nmr.co.uk

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