Home' NZ Dairy Farmer : March 2010 Contents 60 The Dairyman MARCH 2010
THE same technology that is used to
scan and read our grocery items as they
whiz through the checkout is set to
become commonplace in our farm dairy
A revolutionary new design utilising exist-
ing barcode, EID and scanning technology is
set to make one of the regular jobs on the
farm quicker, easier and more efficient.
Though herd testing is a valuable tool used
to measure and monitor a herd's perform-
ance, it is often regarded by farmers as a has-
sle, meaning extra time in the shed and addi-
Now, thanks to a revolutionary new EID
(electronic identification) solution, devel-
oped by farm improvement company
Livestock Improvement (LIC), herd testing
for many farmers next season will not only
be quicker, but also more accurate.
"Herd testing gives farmers an overall pic-
ture of their herd and the production of
each individual animal -- it identifies
which animals are making the most
money," said LIC herd test operations
manager, Rob Young.
"Herd test information is translated
into a range of comprehensive animal
performance reports which enable farm-
ers to make informed strategic decisions,
including breeding, mastitis monitoring
"For the first time in New Zealand,
cows can be connected direct to herd
records and herd test flasks through the EID
tags in their ears."
The EZ Link EID uses a specially
designed EID stick reader to read and then
wirelessly transmit all the animal informa-
tion contained on an individual cow's elec-
tronic identification tag (EID), to the EZ
Link hand held device, which then accurate-
ly matches cow and milk sample.
This new tool eliminates the often difficult
task of trying to read ear tags, farmers can
simply walk down the drenching race past
the cows and with a wave of the wand
identify each cow from its
EID tag. Then it's a simple
walk past the milk flasks to
scan in the barcodes.
"Using EID technology
there is less risk of a stuff-up
in results, it eliminates inac-
curacy -- it reads the correct
cow number and links it to
the correct flask," said Orini
Downs farm manager
Harry Rich trialled EZ Link EID in both
his herringbone sheds and said herd testing
was definitely quicker: EZ Link EID elimi-
nated two jobs that can potentially make
your herd testing results inaccurate, out of
the system. "EZ Link EID has exceeded my
expectations -- it was fantastic to use. I no
longer have to go along and manually read
the tags, it made herd testing a more enjoy-
able experience and I am more confident in
the results. The results have to be more accu-
rate -- and I like accuracy.
"I could just walk down the bale, and ping,
ping, ping it read the cow numbers, then I
walked back up the row and scanned the
flasks. I'm all for not having to jump up and
down on the rail trying to read numbers.
"I believe technology should be used to
make life easier -- EZ Link EID has proved it
does -- and if the technology is available to
improve on how thing are done -- then use it."
Harry Rich said even when herd testing his
heifer herd he experienced no problems
using the EID stick reader.
"You want to avoid annoying or scaring
the cows so it is important you practice good
"I found it best just hold the stick reader in
one position and hold the button on, then I
walked quickly down the aisle without look-
ing at the cows, by the time they realised I
was there, or even thought about what I was
doing, I was at the end of the row.
"And of course, with anything, the more
you do something, the less the cows will take
any notice. I would suggest maybe carrying
a stick into the shed for a week and by the
end of that week it will be routine and the
cows will be thinking, 'Oh here's that Wally
again carrying a stick'."
Rob Young said EZ Link EID had been
proven in the field and would suit the major-
ity of dairy sheds.
"In both herringbone and rotary sheds
farmers must be able to access the cows'
heads with the EID reader -- which is 65cm
long, therefore internal sampling rotaries and
herringbones with drenching races are more
likely to be suitable.
"The EID stick reader is compatible with
all EID tags, however LIC recommends tag-
ging with HDX birth ID tags from Allflex
and Zee Tags."
Rob Young said the new EZ Link EID will
be available from next season (2010/11).
Bar code scanning checks out in the shed
LIC client trainer, Rob Waugh
demonstrates how simple EZ Link EID
is to use.
Links Archive February 2010 April 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page