AgTech : Wearable technology helps to control Cows health

A veterinary epidemiologist, Karin Orsel at the University of Calgary in Canada is testing how accelerometers – the same devices inside fitness monitors that measure a person's activity level – can be used to detect disease in beef cattle before it becomes obvious to ranchers.

The ability to spot disease early is a real benefit in dairy industry, allowing sickness to be treated earlier. “By the time the cows show clinical signs of disease, it’s quite late in the disease process, up to seven days after infection,” Orsel said.

Orsel and her colleagues attached accelerometers to the identification tags in the ears of 18 cows and used the information it collected about how the cows’ ears moved to identify how much time the cows spent eating, chewing their cud, resting and moving around. The accelerometer-equipped tags are made by a Dutch company, Agis Automatisering, which has also developed an algorithm that interprets the movements into specific behaviours.

Spotting changes in activity, especially in how much time is spent eating and chewing cud, could help identify illnesses like bovine respiratory disease, she said.

Source : /