Monheim, Germany, November 26, 2014 – Veterinarians and farmers now have a simple and convenient tool to accurately assess the health condition of their dairy cows and detect possible metabolic disorders with Bayer HealthCare Animal Health's innovative BCS Cowdition smartphone application. The BCS Cowdition application is designed to help simplify and standardize the scoring of dairy cows' body condition, which is a vital part of good herd management.
Every farmer has cattle that are too fat or thin for their stage of lactation, which can lead to lost milk production, decreased fertility, or costly disease treatments. Body Condition Scoring (BCS) is a known method used by farmers and veterinarians to assess the body fat reserves carried by a dairy cow, and from thereon take the necessary action.
"Body condition scoring is an important part of herd health management as metabolic disorders are one of the key conditions affecting the well-being and productivity of dairy cows. Farmers need to score the body condition of their dairy cows regularly to ensure that they are healthy. There are a number of scoring systems around the world, but the common challenge lies in getting the scoring done efficiently and accurately," said Dr Gabriel A. Bó, President of the Institute of Animal Reproduction Córdoba in Argentina.
BCS Cowdition is an innovative enhancement of Bayer´s five-step BCS system that aids farmers and veterinarians with detailed descriptions and images of cows of various health conditions ranging from under-nourished and ideal, to overweight. With the new smartphone application, a farmer or veterinarian just needs to take photos of the cow and then simply follow the steps to select a line type, position it and adjust it along the appropriate lines of the body, and then simply read the BCS result.
"I was impressed at how practical and easy BCS Cowdition is to use. Previously, farmers needed experience and a practiced eye to look at and handle a cow´s backbone, loin and rump areas, and then manually compare it with a description or image of the ´ideal´ state for the cow´s stage of lactation. Scoring an entire herd of cows properly can be a very subjective and time consuming affair. BCS Cowdition is a very welcome innovation in herd management as it guides and helps farmers enhance the accuracy and standardization of the scoring across an entire herd of dairy cows," Dr Bó added.
"We challenged ourselves to take innovation a few steps further, and we are pleased to be able to offer dairy farmers and veterinarians around the world a solution in a practical and easy to use smartphone application that would help them manage the health of their herd better," said Dr Douglas Hutchens, Chief Veterinary Officer and Head of Global Development at Bayer HealthCare Animal Health.
Bayer continually seeks to offer solutions that help keep animals healthy, in line with its mission of Science For A Better Life. The BCS Cowdition application was designed by the team at Bayer in partnership with the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT in Germany. It applies technology in a practical way to help farmers and veterinarians complete the body condition scoring process faster, more accurately, and as often as needed.
Further elaborating on the practicality of the application and how it helps keep dairy cows healthy, Wolfgang Mueller, Head of Global Marketing Farm Animal Products at Bayer HealthCare Animal Health, added, "BCS Cowdition also gives farmers a risk assessment of various diseases, the causes and signs with each reading so that they can take appropriate action. The next upgrade of the application will allow tracking of the progress of each cow based on its ear tag number, and will prompt farmers and veterinarians for the next BCS assessment according to the cow´s score."
Bayer HealthCare Animal Health´s BCS Cowdition is available free-for-download from the AppStore and GooglePlay in eight languages: English, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Turkish. More information on the application is available at http://www.animalhealth.bayer.com/5770.0.html.