Temperature can tell you many things about an animal — if it’s beginning to fall ill, if it’s about to calve, or if it’s coming into heat. The technology to track temperature and movement of cattle comes in many forms, and a western Canadian company is offering a wireless communication rumen bolus that won’t get lost like a tag and isn’t bulky, like a collar.
The Wireless Rumen Bolus (WRB), by Wandering Shepherd, is administered orally, just like a magnet or other bolus, and stays in a cow’s (or other ruminant) rumen for its lifetime. The bolus tracks location of an animal, its movement and temperature.
Neil Helfrich, co-founder and CEO of the company behind the technology says remote tracking of location and temperature allows for several applications, such as early detection of sickness even before the animal exhibits any signs, and cattle rustling or fence breakouts. The bolus lets you know where your cattle are and who may be falling ill or coming into heat all from a smartphone, desktop, or tablet.
With a battery life of about 5 years, a bolus may need to be replaced at some point, depending on the type of cow or production system, but Helfrich adds that a bolus is permanent and tamper-proof for identification and re-location, should an animal go missing. While currently being tested for cattle — both dairy and beef — Helfrich says the system will work for sheep, goats, bison, and deer, it just takes a specific bolus size.
Hear more from Helfrich in this segment from RealAg Radio: