Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (NYSE:MRK), and Allflex Livestock Intelligence, a livestock portfolio of digital products within Merck Animal Health, announced new ear tag technology featuring a light-emitting diode (LED). The advancement allows producers to more quickly identify cows that need attention based on Allflex monitoring data.
The new Allflex Flex V2 tag features a first-of-its-kind multi-function LED indicator. The indicator allows dairy managers, staff and veterinarians to quickly identify specific animals at a glance – even in a large group – minimizing disruptions and saving time and labor involved in searching for target cows by their identification numbers.
Light patterns indicate cow needs
“The Flex V2 monitoring ear tag allows for precision cow management in the pen,” said Brandt Kreuscher, Allflex dairy manager. “Different LED light patterns indicate individual cow needs based on critical data the Flex V2 tag collects to deliver timely reproduction and animal health insights.”
Dairy producers can customize light patterns on the Flex V2 to meet operation needs. For example, a producer could set up the device so that a slowly blinking light indicates a cow is ready to be bred and a tag that is blinking fast indicates she may need an animal health intervention.
“A tag that is not blinking provides peace of mind, knowing the cow can be left alone to do what she does best – efficiently produce milk,” Kreuscher said.
Enhanced health checks, better heat detection
Tom Bruins, member of Bruins Dairy LLC in Waupun, Wisconsin, said the Flex V2 tag speeds herd health checks and makes it easier to spot cows in heat.
“I like to see every cow every day, but this technology allows us to single out the cows that need attention faster. During herd check the vet knows which cows we are trying to catch,” Bruins said.
The enhanced ability to detect cows in heat improved the herd’s standing heat conception rate by 15 to 20 percent for third lactation and higher cows.
“Before using the Flex V2 system, we didn’t know how many cows were actually in heat,” Bruins said.
One millionth cow milestone
The Flex V2 technology is exclusive to Allflex Livestock Intelligence and is the latest in a long history of innovation by the company. The newest tag technology comes on the heels of identifying the one millionth cow monitored by an Allflex system at the Fox Dairy, LTD, near Plainview, Texas.
Jasper DeVos, general manager at Fox Dairy, attests to the importance of data collection using Allflex monitoring. “We wanted to make sure we were evaluating the cows on an individual level and keep a closer eye on them through a fully integrated system with the monitoring, sorting gates, and milk meters,” he said.
“We are proud of this milestone in our long history of innovation and service. We have a deep knowledge of cow monitoring and are constantly evolving our product line to provide new solutions for dairies with the same world-class service they depend on,” added Kreuscher. “The new Flex V2 ear tag is a great example of our commitment to delivering practical, and easily implemented solutions, that improve animal welfare.”
Flex V2 details
The Flex V2 monitoring ear tag is lightweight, easy to install in one step and preserves cow comfort with its lightweight design and secure attachment. The extended five-year battery life results in fewer tagging events, also reducing herd disruptions and labor.
The new Flex V2 technology is now available for pre-ordering, with full distribution planned in 2022.
For more information on the Flex V2 monitoring ear tag and the complete Allflex monitoring portfolio, go to www.allflexusa.com.