GEA, together with its partner CattleEye, an agribusiness based in Northern Ireland, offers a new digital solution to detect and treat lameness in cows faster. This consists of a camera and software that analyzes the animals' movement patterns. The system is available to all GEA customers worldwide through their country sales organizations.
Lameness is a common problem on dairy farms with far-reaching consequences. In addition to reduced animal welfare and high veterinary costs, affected cows are also less productive. Furthermore, the cows become harder to breed and the risk of secondary diseases is increased. Claw diseases and associated lameness are the third most common cause of dairy cow deaths - and thus a major financial risk factor for farms overall. With the help of artificial intelligence, GEA customers can now take countermeasures at an early stage.
For lameness detection, a 2D camera is installed above the existing milking system. This reliably captures and regularly records each cow as it leaves the milking parlor. The associated CattleEye software then evaluates irregularities in the animals' movement patterns and flags them in the system. This data can then be accessed at any time via the app on the smartphone and tablet as well as on the PC. In this way, impending or already occurred lameness can be automatically identified and treated in time. "The system is a very convenient and, above all, time-saving way to keep an eye on the hoof health of the herd," says Holger Siegwarth, vice president Digital Solutions and Services at GEA Farm Technologies.
"Another advantage is that the solution can be installed in both new and existing farms with conventional as well as automatic milking systems. It is also almost maintenance free," explains Terry Canning, chief executive officer of CattleEye.
"Together with CattleEye, we can now offer our customers another important herd management product that not only makes farms more profitable, but also allows them to operate more sustainably. Animals are healthier overall, live longer and are consistently productive," says Holger Siegwarth.