A standalone system allowing automatic drafting of cattle to separate holding pens, for example after milking, has been launched by O’Donnell Engineering, Emly, Co Tipperary.

The ODE Drafting System assists in organising cows for AI, hoof paring, medication, and buffer feeding.

The standard unit can be configured to provide two-way or three-way drafting.

The farmer interacts with the drafting system via a Samsung tablet computer mounted in the milking pit, supplied as part of the drafting package.

The computer is linked by Wi-Fi to the drafting system — or the system can be controlled using any WI-Fi enabled device.

The drafting unit must be supplied with power and compressed air.

The farmer can look down along their list of cows and select which animal to divert.

The drafter will inform the farmer, if an animal hasn’t been seen, or if there is any issue with drafting.

A double antenna detects the cow’s tag as she enters the drafting unit.

There is also a manual operation option, that will work for livestock not tagged electronically.

“Cows are free-flowing through the system due to the double antenna installed, allowing accurate and rapid animal detection,” says the company’s Operations Manager, Michael O’Donnell.

“This reduces the operating stress on the animals, allowing them to walk at their natural pace, without the need to stop and scan each animal,”

Without no need to stop each animal, the ODE Drafting Unit doesn’t require a large holding area, and can be installed in confined areas.

Depending on how a cow’s tag is pre-programmed, she will either be drafted to the left or right or continue to walk straight ahead.

The steel work is heavy duty box sections, hot dipped galvanised.

For this system to operate automatically, all cattle must have one standard ‘battery-free’ HDX electronic identification ear tag.

These tags are similar to the ordinary identification ear tag that all cattle must have, except that they are fitted with an RFID circuit.

The tags can be purchased from Mullinahone Co-op.

Video of how the Drafting System works can be viewed at the www.odonnellengineering.ie



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