Health, Management, Reproduction 

Reducing workload. Saving time. With the smaXtec health system.

Changing farm structures with more cows and fewer employees, rising cost pressure and heavy bureaucratisation are reasons why increasing workload in farming is a serious issue. Digitalisation and technological tools have been helping farmers here for several years, including the smaXtec system.

For me, cow monitoring with the smaXtec boluses means a reduction in workload, so that alone makes the system worthwhile.
Michael Jünck, smaXtec customer from Germany

Find out in this blog post how the smaXtec system takes time-consuming routine work off your hands, saving you time as well as costs and allowing you to focus on the things that really need your attention in a structured manner.

Work organisation on farms

On farms, including dairy farms, a basic distinction is made between the following three types of work:
Production-related work: e.g. production processes, management/administration/control of production
Special work: irregular, both scheduled and non-scheduled work (e.g. repairs, maintenance, cleaning, etc.).
Farm Management [1]

Time spent in dairy farming

Especially in cattle or dairy farming, time is a very scarce commodity - high daily working hours and being permanently present are the two main factors. Growing herd sizes are the biggest challenge for full-time farms. Part-time farmers have to balance agricultural operations and non-agricultural activities in the best possible way.

The most time-consuming tasks for dairy farmers are milking and feeding. Management is also becoming increasingly important. This means that farmers spend less time in the barn with their animals in order to take care of administrative tasks.

Nevertheless, in order to always know how their animals are doing in the barn and to be informed at an early stage if action is needed, farmers are increasingly relying on digital helpers, such as the smaXtec health system for continuous monitoring of their dairy herd.

The amount of time farmers spend on farm management is increasing. This means that they spend more time in the office due to the increasing number of administrative activities. This time is lacking on the field or in the barn. [1]

see Schrade et al. (2006), Mutterkuhhaltung – Investitionsbedarf und Arbeitswirtschaft. FAT-Bericht Nr. 654, Tänikon, page 1

There is another study in which the labour time requirement for special work (see list below) and management is estimated at around 21% of the total labour time requirement in dairy farming per cow and year. With a total labour time requirement of 73.0 labour hours, this is about 15.3 hours spent on special work per animal and year. [3]

Here it becomes clear that the smaXtec health system supports farmers in many daily tasks in the barn, e.g. observing animals or oestrus monitoring, and can significantly reduce non-daily tasks in the barn, e.g. treating animals, calving assistance.

Routine tasks such as taking temperature are also taken over by smaXtec.

see Glantschnig, Tamara (2013), Ermittlung des Arbeitszeitaufwands auf Milchviehbetrieben mit unstrukturierter Kompostfläche nach finalen Arbeitszeiterfassungsmethoden.

Workload: Temperature measurement

Temperature measurement is a great early warning system and should be done as a routine on every farm. However, with growing herd sizes, the time required to regularly monitor temperature is enormous. In addition, it is crucial to know and take into account the animal's history when temperature changes. This is hardly possible without accurate documentation.

In the following lactation phases, temperature measurement is particularly important and has to be done frequently:
Cows close to calving (from approx. one week before calving): 1x daily
Freshly lactating cows: shortly after birth, 1x daily for the first ten days after birth.
Conspicuous animals: in case of abnormalities, the body temperature should be measured immediately [4]

Time needed for taking temperature:
About 90 seconds per cow and measurement
• 30 seconds to measure temperature
• 60 seconds: Locate cow, prepare thermometer (clean, disinfect, ...), record, ...

Time saving thanks to continuous measurement of inner body temperature with smaXtec

My social life has already been changed a lot by this system, as I can go somewhere much more relaxed, meet my friends, do things together with my family and still always have the cows in my pocket.
Finja Tangermann, smaXtec customer from Germany

Taking temperature in freshly lactating cows is standard practice on most farms, but continuous temperature measurement also allows you to quickly detect diseases in animals in later stages of lactation or in the dry-off and transit phases.

I definitely recommend smaXtec to others, as since using the system the time spent on temperature measurement has been completely eliminated.
Franz Gahleitner, smaXtec customer from Austria

The smaXtec health system monitors the inner body temperature of your herd automatically and around the clock.
Due to the position of the bolus, we offer a precise and unaltered measurement of the inner body temperature, the most important indicator for the detection of diseases. When using the system, you do not need to take temperature manually, detect sick animals as early as possible and thus save an enormous amount of time and money. In addition, smaXtec documents the individual temperature values for you and informs you as soon as there are any abnormalities. This way you can quickly look for the causes of the temperature change and take action.

The boluses save me working time, as I can find sick animals much more quickly on an individual basis.
Manuela Illgen, AG Langenchursdorf, smaXtec customer from Germany

Time expenditure: oestrus monitoring

To a large extent, the financial success of a dairy farm depends on the fertility of the cows. Insemination time is essential. However, changing factors, such as herd size, make the detection of oestrus more and more difficult. In addition, successful visual heat detection requires an enormous amount of time.

Experts recommend observing the animals for 15 minutes three to four times a day.

4x 15 minutes = 1 hour/day = 365 hours/year

However, observation should not be done at milking times or during feeding. This is because the cows are often too busy with other things to show heat signs. The best way to detect oestrus would therefore be for one person to take time every day to observe the animals in the pasture or in the barn.[5] But this means an enormous time commitment. The smaXtec system does the oestrus monitoring for you!

Reliable heat detection with the smaXtec system

Before using the smaXtec system, I drove to the farm 3 times a day for heat detection – which was a huge time effort. Now I take a look at the smaXtec Software in the morning and know exactly which cows are in heat.
Wagyu Bodensee UG, smaXtec customer from Germany

With the smaXtec system, visual observation is no longer necessary. smaXtec sends you a notification as soon as a cow shows signs of oestrus.
In addition to heat detection, smaXtec calculates the optimal insemination time for you. As soon as an oestrus alert is sent, the system provides you with information on the ideal insemination time. This allows you to inseminate your animals at the right time and further improve your reproduction figures on the farm.

Thanks to smaXtec we now have a lot more free time during mating season.
George Morgan, smaXtec customer from the UK

More time for the really important things. With smaXtec.

smaXtec calving detection

With smaXtec you can reduce your time or make your work more efficient in many other areas, for example calving management.

Before smaXtec, I had to get up every 2 hours for days to check whether the cow was already calving. Thanks to smaXtec, I sleep much more peacefully because I am informed early via push notification about imminent calving.
Manuela Zehendmaier, smaXtec customer from Germany

With smaXtec you no longer have to set an alarm clock to see if the calf is already on its way: the smaXtec system detects the reduced temperature and informs you on average 15 hours before calving. This way you can prepare the cow in a relaxed way and support her if necessary.

With smaXtec we save ourselves the frequent temperature measurement before calving. It is convenient to no longer take manually.
Markus Brandtner, smaXtec customer from Austria

Integrations with herd management systems

smaXtec + herd management system = extra work? Wrong! smaXtec offers integrations with many common herd management programmes. This means that you can access the valuable information from smaXtec directly in your existing herd management programme such as VAS and UNIFORM-Agri and understand your cows even better through the comprehensive combination of information. You work efficiently as your effort for data access and data entry is reduced to a minimum. More >>

As this blog article shows, with smaXtec you save enormously on working time and therefore also on costs. The result: More time for the really important things!

smaXtec allows me to spend more time with my family.
Paul Burnell, smaXtec customer from the UK

[1] LFI Österreich: Arbeitsorganisation und Arbeitseffizienz am landwirtschaftlichen Betrieb
[2] Schrade et al., 2006
[3] Schick, 2007