Asda is an early moover with cow welfare
Supermarket ASDA is helping its dedicated UK dairy farmers with discounted pedometers to be fitted to their milk cows.
The pedometers, or bovine activity meters as they are technically known, are leg mounted and monitor the steps taken by the animal.
When passed over an antenna in the parlour, data is transferred to log against the cows 10 day average activity reading.
An increase in steps will identify cows in heat without any visual heat detection thus maximising milk production.
If there is a decrease in the number of strides it takes, it can alert farmers to a whole host of potential welfare issues up to 6 days before an ailment becomes apparent.
The discount is thanks to ASDA striking a deal with Fullwood, the UKâ€™s leading supplier of milking equipment that allows a 30% discount to farmers.
ASDAâ€™s spokesman said:
â€œAlthough it sounds like weâ€™re pulling the udder one, these pedometers play an important role in helping our farmers achieving maximum milk production while dramatically enhancing herd welfare.â€
â€œThese leg pedometers are already proving to be an invaluable tool on several ASDA dairy farms, identifying heats that would have otherwise gone undetected and the early detection of ailments should improve herd welfare, lower vet costs and lead to greater dairy business efficiency.â€
ASDA DairyLink members, Chris and Margie Hall, who farm near Huddersfield, are already using the pedometers with great success.
â€œInstalling the pedometers has proven to be a great decision and as a result our milk production has improved considerably.â€