The Munnikenhof, located in Terheijden, has experienced significant improvements in efficiency and animal health since adopting the smaXtec system. In addition to 160 dairy cows and three milking robots, the farm also maintains 90 young stock on a spacious 75-hectare land. Prior to integrating smaXtec, the farm relied on reactive measures when detecting health issues in cows. However, the farm sought to shift towards a more preventive approach: “We weren't really looking for a system. We already had some data from the milking robots, but we often reacted only when the cow was already ill or if something was already wrong. And in my opinion that was too little preventive” farm owner Koen van Steen stated.
Preventive approach and work efficiency
Koen van Steen invested in the smaXtec system primarily to achieve optimal milk production and improve herd health: “We wanted to invest in preventive care and in the health of the cows, to achieve an optimal milk production combined with a high herd health status. Because only with preventive care you can create a higher health status.” The implementation of the system allows the farm to focus on preventive care and promoting better health among the cows while reducing workload. Koen van Steen explains that “with the smaXtec system, we now can milk 160 cows with one person. Using smaXtec simply reduced my workload on the farm and made many things a lot easier for us. As a result, we got a lot more satisfaction in our work - in handling our animals and in working on the farm.”
Monitoring and early detection
Before the smaXtec system, the farm heavily relied on visual observations to detect health issues. “The smaXtec system has helped us enormously in monitoring the animals, especially when it comes to drinking behaviour, feed intake, temperature and calving”, says Koen van Steen. During crucial moments, the system provides invaluable support and enables prompt intervention. “We are more likely to detect when something is wrong with the cow, we can react earlier, treat the cow earlier with medication and due to this, prevent the cow from getting a more severe course of disease.”
Enhanced fertility and calving interval
Moreover, smaXtec helped the Munnikenhof to improve the fertility on the farm and even uncovered errors in the insemination. “The system showed us that we used to inseminate too late in the cycle. Now, the waiting time has become shorter and when the cow is in heat, we get ready and inseminate the cow at the right time. As a result, our fertility results have improved and our calving interval has been reduced from 415 days to below 400 days.” Regarding heat detection, Koen van Steen completely relies on smaXtec: “We blindly rely on the smaXtec system, because before we can even see that the cow is in heat, we already get an alert from the smaXtec system.”