The majority of wearable devices for livestock monitor health conditions in order to identify ill animals, reduce antibiotic use and prevent the spread of disease through the herd. In the US, Kansas-based TekVet Technologies Co. has developed a health monitoring system that immediately identifies temperature rise in cattle, which is associated with many common illnesses. This makes early treatment possible.
The system comprises a small electronic ear tag—the TekSensor—permanently attached to the ear and powered by a battery designed to last the animal’s lifetime. A small thermistor (an electronic thermometer) fits just inside the animal’s ear canal and measures temperature. A tiny radio transmitter in the tag communicates temperature information and the animal identification number to solar-powered receivers installed throughout the barn or field. These units then transmit the data to a central server, where temperature readings are recorded approximately every hour, 24 hours a day. This real-time data is immediately available to the farm staff via their own custom dashboard, accessible from an office computer or a mobile device.