Making multitasking more manageable

Jarrah Farms started working with the CowManager system in 2020. Photo: CowManager

Managing a dairy business can sometimes feel like the Olympics of multitasking — getting daily chores done while keeping an eye on which cows are on heat and trying to catch the sick ones in time as well.

Rachel Mungean can relate, as she was trying to do it all.

But since Rachel adopted a cow monitoring system into her work routine, a certain peace of mind has replaced the stress.

"I'm not running around trying to attend to calving cows, observe tail paint on the cows just to make sure the right cows are getting bred — it may still be busy, but it is more controlled now.”

A smart and easy system

Rachel runs Jarrah Farms in Timboon, Victoria. They milk 500 cows off 323ha and have an out-paddock where they run their replacements, which are about 120 to 130 head of stock.

In 2020 the farm started working with the CowManager system — ear sensors that monitor cows’ ear temperature, behaviour, activity, rumination and eating time.

Users get alerts on their phone and computer, plus real-time insightful data to base business and herd decisions on.

For Rachel, the ease of use of the sensors is a particular big plus.

“They’re really easy to put in, it’s just a matter of slipping it over (a blank round tag) and folding it back. So easy to use, so easy to take off, so easy to apply.”

Improving herd performance

CowManager’s Fertility Module recognises heat intensity and heat stage, and identifies heat peaks, possible pregnancies, non-cycling cows and even potential abortions.

“The product itself I can’t fault,” Rachel said.

“It does what we want it to do. It really shows up when the cows are on heat, the ideal time to AI them.

“It gives us the information that we need to perform and to make our cows perform for us.”

The Health Module helps them stay on top of herd health, detecting diseases days before a cow shows clinical signs of being ill.

“We utilise it a lot and we've found it works really, really well,” Rachel said.

“It'll show up a cow before she actually shows signs of being sick. Which is really a bonus.

“It gets you a step in front before the cow goes completely off her milk. That’s when you usually visually start seeing that there’s something wrong.”

Being able to switch off

As passionate as Rachel is about running her business, it’s nice to know she can sometimes just switch off without having to worry she’ll miss something important.

“You can always walk away knowing the cloud and all that above, is always marking in ‘this cow’s on heat’ or ‘this cow might not be well’.”

And of course, the system never sleeps.

“Even at night-time, you can just switch off and you know you’re going to get alerts when you wake up in the morning.

“You've always got that information on-hand (on the smart phone CowManager app), with you, whenever you need it.”

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Rachel Mungean has found greater peace of mind since using the CowManager system.