Implementing effective heat detection practices, together with correct timing of AI and ensuring best practice in nutrition management, represents a significant increased profit opportunity for the Irish farmer.
That is according to Liam O’Keeffe, a dairy farmer and AI technician, who co-founded Agrify Solutions Ltd, Ballydesmond County Cork, in 2018.
He realised that farmers, who used tail paint effectively, were the ones who were achieving the best calving intervals.
Liam was acutely aware also of the work that goes into good tail painting practice. This awareness led to the invention of a tool kit known as the Tailpainter.
The Tailpainter was designed to help farmers implement best practice in heat detection. The company has enjoyed success over the last two years, with the product now being adopted throughout New Zealand. Currently, trials are ongoing in France, Brazil, Australia and the Nordics.
Improve 6-week calving rate
According to the company, 95% of Irish farmers, who struggle with implementing effective heat detection, can use the Tailpainter and follow the Tailpainter breeding protocol to improve their 6-week calving rate with less effort than ever before.
By using the Tailpainter, the farmer can more easily benefit from the use of top genetics, the company claimed. Therefore, a farmer can now achieve a genetic gain in his/her herd without any extra labour input.
The company stated that with reduced or eliminated stock bulls, improved dairy genetics and an increased beef calf value, a farmer can see a real improvement in his/her profit while also dramatically increasing the value of stock.
From 50-1,000 cows
The co-founder said the company is satisfied with feedback from existing customers who are realising benefits including ease and speed of tail paint application.
“The difference is the farmer now spends his time observing cows and not on strenuous tail painting, resulting in improved heat detection and more compact calving. The real trick here is to ensure that during the breeding season that the farmer quickly checks the paint quality before the cow leaves the parlour.”
“If in doubt, top up the paint – this routine removes any guessing from heat detection; the paint has to be in good condition at all times during the breeding season and therefore also allows for detection for so-called non-cyclers, i.e. any cows that are not ovulating.”
“Due to the cost of herd replacements, which can, on average, at €2,200 per cow, a farmer’s ability to eliminate inaccurate heat detections and a knowledge of non-cyclers are two areas where farmers can really gain financially.”
“We have farmers milking up to 1,000 cows, realising the value of the Tailpainter down to herd sizes of 50 cows. Farmers up to now were aware of the labour-intensive job and what was very often a hazardous job associated with tail painting. The arrival of the Tailpainter changes all of this, making it very feasibility and safe to paint as often as is required.”
Agrify Solutions Ltd has just launched this season a tail paint range, known as Daisy Paint, available in 4 colours.
“We see a growing demand for high quality, water-based paint formulated for ease of use and with bright pigment for easy reading.”
Manufactured in Ireland, the Tailpainter range is Tailpainter.com and “all leading” agri retailers.