Trialling the Tailpainter in the New Zealand dairy market

A tail painter market trial was completed across the North Island New Zealand in 2019. Included in this trial were farms ranging in herd size from 180 cows to 1050 cows, the chosen farms included both Herringbone and Rotary parlor configurations. The goal of this trial was to understand and quantify the challenges with effective tail painting in the New Zealand market today, and to determine the potential impact of using the tail painter for New Zealand farmers. Effective heat detection been shown to be a key modulator of farm profitability as well as being a requisite for both improved milk, while also being a necessity in the effective management of carbon footprint of dairy herds.

As part of the trial, the participating farmers participated in a survey on heat detection practices. The survey results would suggest that of the farmers using tail paint, ~40% also used secondary methods of heat dection such as scratch cards or Kamars. The survey suggested that 83% of farmers using tail paint were using tail paint directly from bottles with integrated brushes which are widely available in the New Zeland market. The results suggested that there is  an approximate 50/50 split between the use of oil based and water based paint amount the trial farmers. 

When asked about main challanges or concerns with using tail paint prior to receiving the Tailpainter. The top challanges were detailed as follows: i) time consuming to apply tail paint; ii) difficulty in paint application; iii) additional labour unit requirement during breeding season iv) safety - accident risk.

As part of the trial, the farmers were presented with the Tailpainter for a number of weeks and were then queried about their experience using the Tailpainter. When asked to about the main advantages of using the Tailpainter versus their previous experience tail painting, the top benefits are summarised in figure 1 and detailed as follows: i) ease of application; ii) faster application of paint iii) increased heat detection accuracy. 

As part of FieldDays Online event, the Tailpainter has been launched in the New Zealand market and is available directly from http://Tailpainter.co.nz as well as from a leading agri retailers across New Zealand. For a complete listing of New Zealand stockists, please visit https://tailpainter.co.nz/pages/stockists