Martin Billington from Staffordshire manages the health of his 260 cows with smaXtec. In February 2021 Martin installed the smaXtec health system, which he now especially uses in the fields of health monitoring as well as calving and heat detection. He shares his experience with the smaXtec system and explains how the system has convinced him and will help him to grow his herd naturally.
Benefit from numerous advantages
When Martin came across smaXtec, he originally was looking for a new system for managing the heat detection of his herd of Holstein Friesians. Choosing smaXtec not only improved his heat detection, but also gave him insights into a large variety of health data: “I was looking to change my heat detection system predominantly. Then when I came across the smaXtec system, obviously, I had the benefits of the heat detection system, but also the added benefits of the health monitoring with particularly the temperature alerts of high temperatures or low temperatures”, Martin reports the main advantages.
Caring = Saving
The precise measurement of health data such as temperature (± 0,01 °C), water intake, rumination and activity gives insights into the health status of the cows and enables early disease detection and treatment. Thus, Martin has not only been able to reduce his use of antibiotics, but, as a result, also saves money. “In terms of reduced antibiotic usage in the cows, I'd say I've reduced my intramammary usage by about a third. Obviously, it's not just the cost of the tube, it's the cost of the lost milk as well, so that's certainly saving some money.”
Since Martin successfully manages the health of his herd with the smaXtec system, he now aims to increase cow numbers from 260 to 300. He uses the reproduction features of the smaXtec system to achieve his goal.
Timing is everything
With the smaXtec system Martin was able to increase the accuracy of the heat detection in his herd and thus, also the number of calvings. The boluses also enable Martin to spot the cows in heat that aren’t as easy to recognize and help him to inseminate the cows at the right time: “In terms of the heat detection I find the system particularly useful, because it does give me a window when the ideal time to serve the cow is. (…) I’m certainly picking up more almost silent heats, really. Which I find in particularly useful.”
More comfort through calving alerts
Another benefit of the smaXtec system for Martin is the calving alerts. Before one of his cows calves, the system will pick up a temperature decrease in the cow and send him a calving alert. That usually happens around 12 to 24 hours before calving, which enables Martin to save straw and manage the calving process in a better way.
Grow your herd with smaXtec
For Martin smaXtec has led to significant improvements regarding conception rates and reproduction success on his farm. Thus, he has big plans for the future and intends to use the system for natural herd growth. “I'm trying to increase cow numbers from 260 up to 300. I want to do it through natural growth rather than go and buying a load of other cows (…). I'm doing this largely because of disease control, so I find the smaXtec system should enable me to do that by reducing culling rates through reducing losses through fertility.”