Lyndon Campbell, a farmer in Mataura Island, Southland, has been using CowManager for just over 12 months on his herd of 220-230 cows.

“We wanted to install it a few years ago, but we waited until there were a few more farms with it, so we knew a bit more about it. We’re happy that we picked the time we did because this last season has been fairly challenging with the drought, but it’s helped us through.”

Over the last season, Lyndon has had experience using the CowManager Health, Fertility and Nutrition Modules.

When speaking about how CowManager has improved his herds’ health, he said, “it’s the most valuable for us in the Spring when we’re calving. We don’t traditionally have much milk fever on this farm, but this season just gone, we did have five cows that got milk fever. CowManager picked them up early”. This early detection meant the cows were treated and back on their feet quickly with no drop in production.

“The alerts came through at 9 p.m., which was after my last check. I would’ve missed those cows. They would’ve perhaps been dead by the morning or in very bad shape.”

This last season he had no down cows due to milk fever thanks to CowManager’s early alerts. “It’s very accurate, it sends you an alert, and you just run out the door… it saves cows’ lives just like that,” he said.

When he installed CowManager, the Nutrition Module was available free for a limited time, and he made the decision to keep it as a paid module. “It was an easy decision because it gives you a lot of information. Now, it’s telling me that I’m not feeding the cows well enough or I need to feed them more. It’s keeping an eye on them all the time.”

CowManager’s Nutrition Module can help you identify when a cow isn’t eating or ruminating like the rest of the herd. When commenting on the system’s ability to pick up these outliers, Lynden said, “it identifies the ones that are not quite normal, and you can check them out and find out whether there’s a health issue. It’s the Nutrition Module that’s pointing you towards that health issue.”

CowManager’s alerts helped him recognise the times of the year when he needed to supplement his pasture with dry silage. “It certainly has us feeding our cows better,” he said. He’s been able to identify nutritionally weak pastures by looking at the nutrition data kept by CowManager.

“We would not have usually used that silage because it’s not your normal milking-quality silage: it’s almost like hay. But it was just what the cows needed. The Nutrition Module has changed the way we farm.”

“At the end of the day, we’re trying to make milk, and if the cow’s not ruminating effectively, she’s just not making milk. Not only is she not making milk, but she’s also likely to be dropping in condition,” he said.

“I do recommend CowManager. I have recommended CowManager to several friends who have installed it. We nearly paid it off completely in the first 12 months because it saved cows’ lives. I don’t see it as an expense, I see it as an asset. We would never go back.”

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