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Since our calving system “Medria’s Vel Phone” was been featured on UTVs Rare Breed and BBC’s  Farm Gate on BBC Radio Ulster we have had many people asking about it.

We are having an on farm demonstration of the system on Satyrday the 26th April for people to come and learn about the system and how it works. Further details in due course.

It’s hard to believe we have only been using it since September last year, but from the outset it has proved invaluable and now we would hate to have to do without it!

Vel’ Phone is a sensor system that alerts us when our cows are ready to calve.  Quite simply it’s a thermometer inserted into the cow’s vagina that takes regular temperature readings (every minute) and using this data can accurately predict when a cow is approaching calving.  We get two alerts, the first an “expected calving in 48 hours” – this is triggered by a minute spike in temperature, and the second when the thermometer is ejected, meaning calving follows within the next 24-48 hours.

Having this system has meant autumn calving was a simpler with less unnecessary checking throughout the night and no calves missed calving that needed assistance, and we are looking forward to our heavy spring calving with much less trepidation than in previous years!  We will be calving 330 cows in the next few months but at least this year there is some prospect of a little sleep.

I’m happy to talk to anyone about the system if you want a bit more information on how it works and where to get it.  Please call me (James) on 07816 775501.