Monitor your herd’s rumination with Ingenuity

Ingenuity collar

What is rumination?

Rumination is a process where cud, a cow’s partially digested feed, is regurgitated, re-chewed, and re-swallowed.

Rumination activity is an indicator of the wellbeing of the cow. If a cow stops or reduces rumination it can be an indicator of illness, disease or stress, and is therefore a very important factor to monitor.

Cows control their rumination process voluntarily, and will stop if they are disturbed. For this reason, it is important that your cows live with comfortable surroundings.

The rumination of a cow can be controlled by their internal environment, within the reticulorumen, as well as their external environment, physical and social.

A cow will spend one third of its day ruminating, this is a natural and essential behaviour. Typically, cows will do 80% of their ruminating whilst lying down, which means it is essential to allow them plenty of rest time.

Why is it important to monitor rumination?

When a cow decreases its rumination, it is a sign of a deeper issue. Typically, any type of stress on the cow can prevent them from ruminating.

For example, a cow which is undergoing heat stress will likely decrease its rumination process by 10% to 22%.

Similarly, a cow which lives in a overcrowded environment will ruminate 10% to 20% less than they should. Other factors, such as excessive headlock time, can decrease rumination time by 14% and mixed parity pens can decrease it by 15%.

For this reason, it is extremely important to ensure your herd lives in a stress free environment, to prevent any loss of rumination time, and in turn, further health problems and loss of milk yield. 

Early detection of disease is key to successful management of the herd, leading to timely treatment and prevention of any losses, whilst also optimising reproduction. By monitoring your cow’s rumination, you will spot the signs earlier.

What is Ingenuity?

Ingenuity, the Genus ABS herd-monitoring solution, was designed to improve your herd’s health, well-being and reproductive performance.

Available in pedometer and collar versions, Ingenuity uses intelligent technology to monitor herd activity. It has the ability to highlight any warning signs of potential health issues.

How can Ingenuity help?

By using a herd-monitoring system, such as Ingenuity collars, you can monitor the rumination of every cow in your herd, and detect issues sooner.

Monitoring rumination data will help you combat challenges such as:

  • Identifying nutritional problems.
  • Improving reproductive performance.
  • Detecting health problems earlier such as metabolic disorders, mastitis, and lameness.
  • Gauging management effectiveness: grouping and stocking density.
  • Modifying traditional fresh-cow checks with less disturbance of cows and time in headlocks. This means less labour and more focus on high-risk cows.
  • Changing treatment and culling decisions. Your cows can be monitored after treatment to decide whether it is working or not.

Ingenuity does the hard work for you. By using this software, you will have 24/7 access to your herd’s data, and will be alerted whenever there is a problem via the Ingenuity system, or app.

If you are interested in utilising herd-monitoring technology on your farm, get in touch with your local representative today, or visit our website for more information.

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