Kerry farmer achieves a national first with installation of DeLaval Herd Navigator™

Having a full laboratory on the farm is a total game changer!

herd navigator 

A kerry farmer has become the first in the Republic of Ireland to install a new farm management system which could revolutionise the face of dairy farming. The O'Hanlon family have lived and worked on Golden Hill Farm since 1876 and currently keep a dairy herd of 130 animals with plans of further expansion.

According to 40 year old Johnny O'Hanlon who runs the farm along with his parents, Gerard and Ann, the recently installed DeLaval Herd Navigator™ system is going to generate a new stream of valuable information regarding animal health and productivity which will be invaluable to his business. "If milk prices drop, you have to do what you're doing more profitably. By being able to idnetify potential problems before they actually manifest themselves, we can reduce spend on antibiotics, keep our milk output constant and of the highest quality. It allows us to gather information through milk samples which we would never have been able to do before. Quite simply, there is no piece of farm equipment like Herd Navigator™," said Mr O'Hanlon.

herd navigator 

Herd Navigator™ is designed to provide producers with an enhanced overview of their entire herd whilst offering specific valuable information on individual cows. It will allow milk producers to identify significantly more cows in heat than can be seen with current heat detection aids - such as activity meters - or visual checks to spot mastitis before it affects the milk. Milk producers will also be made aware of cows affected by different metabolic disorders, such as clinical and sub-clinical ketosis before actual symptoms are visible to the naked eye.

Herd Navigator™ is a significant innovation in herd management as the system automatically measures different components in the milk while the cow is being milked. This is undoubtedly the management tool of the future, it takes so much pressure off the farmer and delivers accurate results which will increase the financial yield from each cow by around €267 per cow per year," said Kieran FitzGerald, VMS Solutions Manager, GB and Ireland.

herd navigator

Early warnings alert the milk producer to the appropriate quick action needed for individual cows, for reproduction, udder health and nutrition. Proactive action will also improve animal welfare and food safety.

Herd Navigator™ focus areas include reproduction, udder health and feeding. Using sophisticated bio-modelling, analytical results are presented on the farmer's computer in a clear form that makes it easy to spot animals which need special attention including:

  • Cows in heat, pregnant cows and cows with reproduction disorders or abortions.
  • Cows that are developing mastitis, days before clinical signs can be seen.
  • Early detection of ketosis cases or imbalance in feed ration.

The new system will give the milk producer a better overview of the whole herd while providing valuable information on individual cows. Herd Navigator™ is a multi-award winner including Agrafucks Innovation in Agriculture Award at Agraria Austria 2010, nel d'Or for milking equipment at La France Agricole 2010 and rated as a three star Europe news at Agromek 2008 in January in Messecenter Herning. The Herd Navigator concept operation with Evidence Based Veterinary Consultancy (EBVC).

In July 2015, DeLaval was awarded the RABDF Prince Philip Award for research and development in the field of dairy farming and the most practical, relevant and best technical exhibit at the Livestock Event 2015 for the Herd Navigator™.

 herd navigator


Media contact GB and Ireland

Maria Tamming
Phone: +46 734 131 402

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