Livestock producers in Western Canada now have access to a new medication system that will ensure accuracy, as well as help track medication given to their animals.
The system, which was announced at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference last week, is made up of an auto-dosing tool that tracks and records what, when, and the amount of medication you’ve given to each animal.
“It can work one of two ways,” notes Nate Gardner, Commercial Operations – Livestock Production with UFA. “Your traditional: set the dosage at 2cc, 8cc, whatever the dosage may be — but we’ve also got the ability to weight dose. So as the animal comes over the scale in a feedlot scenario, we’d read the RFID tag. That information would automatically head to the gun. So the days of overdosing, or underdosing, or doing everything on an estimate are gone. Everything is automatic and perfect.”
The reader, which is built into the medication gun, stores the information it gathers through a cloud storage system.
“If we get a cow knocked down in the pasture, we can simply scan the RFID tag, automatically it’ll set the protocol to the gun, and away we go,” explains Gardner. “Everything is stored in a cloud. You simply turn it into a CSB file, overlay it on any management software you currently use. We’re building some interfaces right now so that every major operating platform will be completely compatible with the automed system as well.”
Gardner adds the most tangible benefit the system brings is the ability to give the perfect dosage each time. “Some of these drugs we are dealing with are fairly significant in price, and if you could save 1cc over 60,000 doses a year, that obviously means an awful lot.”
The gun is worth around $3,000 retail, but Gardner is confident the savings will bring plenty of profit.
“In a feedlot scenario, the quick estimate of how much you would save per drug, at a 10,000 head feedlot, is about $6000 in savings per year,” notes Gardner.
As automed’s Canadian partner, UFA will distribute the system through its network in western Canada.