Animal Health: RFID for Automatic ID and Cow Temperature Monitoring
Phase IV has created two types of cow bolus sensors.
Our tiny passive RFID Temperature Sensor IC enables automatic daily temperature recording and permanent tamper-free animal identification for livestock. As dairy operations get bigger and bigger, it’s more crucial than ever to quickly and accurately detect sick animals. Our RFID Wireless Temperature Sensor IC is embedded in our specially-designed rumen bolus and requires no batteries. It resides permanently inside the cow and automatically measures a cow’s core temperature providing advance alerts of critical changes in temperatures which may allow early detection of sickness, estrus, heat stress, and the onset of calving.
Our long-life, long-rang battery powered bolus monitors temperature every 10 minutes and also movement with our high sampling rate accelerometer. The data is sent using a high-reliablity 2-way radio transmitter at a distance of over a 200 foot radius. The batteries in these boluses last over 5 years.
No wonder the cows are happy—no manual temperature checking is required—and it’s designed to last for the animal’s entire lifetime.
The US dairy industry is consolidating rapidly. Fewer dairy operations are family operated and, as a result, the care and attention given to each dairy cow has been significantly reduced in larger, more automated dairies. Death rates and loss of production from sickness has climbed steadily in these larger operations.
The Phase IV dairy cow monitoring system automatically monitors each dairy cow’s temperature and ID as it enters the milking parlor, two to three times per day. As a result, the dairy operator receives a 24 to 48 hour advance notice on illnesses and outbreaks before visual signs appear, reducing treatment costs and mortality rates. The system consists of:
- A bolus, equipped with a passive RFID chip (Phase IV’s SensIC™) and an integrated temperature sensor (battery-free)
- A Dual Fixed Reader for collecting temperature data from the bolus.
The bolus is administered orally using a standard balling gun. Once ingested, the bolus settles into the dairy cow’s reticulum (one of the stomachs). The density of the bolus keeps it from passing through the digestive system.
The bolus is read by a Dual Fixed Reader (DFR). The DFR consists of two panels mounted at the entry to the milking parlor. As cows pass the Reader, a magnetic field induces a small electrical charge inside the bolus, sufficient to energize the transmitter. The bolus responds to this interrogation signal by transmitting its globally unique identification number and temperature on a coded radio-frequency. Alarms for high-temperature readings can be triggered, enabling early detection and immediate action. Once the DFR collects the information, the information is sent via Ethernet or Wi-Fi to user or third party application.
The rumen bolus does not use batteries and is encapsulated in FDA and USDA approved materials. It, therefore, provides tamper-proof identification tracking and temperature sensing for the entire lifespan of the animal.
Alarms for high-temperature readings can be triggered, enabling early detection and immediate action.
Once the DFR collects the information, the information is sent via Ethernet or Wi-Fi to user or third party application. This application mines this data to identify livestock that are potentially ill and permits the early intervention in health management. In summary, the system
- Increases efficiency.
- Reduces costs.
- Improves animal well-being.
- Improves production and quality.