Major feedlot operations in Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah signed deals to use a revolutionary technology to more easily keep tabs on cattle health.
Utah-based COLT Technologies TekVet System is an automated radio frequency wireless solution designed to constantly monitor the core temperature of beef and dairy cattle, while also providing the capability of real-time tracing and tracking of historical information.
The TekVet System immediately identifies the first signs of sickness through a wireless smart device that monitors an animal's core temperature. This consequently reduces the time necessary for producers to identify and react to animals demonstrating signs of sickness and quickly initiate treatment regimens faster than ever before, while also helping prevent the spreading of disease to the rest of the herd. As a result, producers using the TekVet System are able to lower the cost of caring for sick cattle, while also assuring that the animal will have the best chance of returning to normal production as quickly as possible.
"The TekVet SmartSensor attaches to an animal's ear while the sensor's proprietary thermistor sits in the animal's ear canal and is not affected by ambient temperature," explains Richard Keene, chief technology officer of COLT Technologies. "
Keene explains the SmartSensor then relays an accurate reading of the animal's core body temperature a distance of 300 to 500 feet, as opposed to inferior transponder technologies that only transmit data 18 inches. A TekVet SmartReceiver picks up this vital information and the data is back-hauled via the Internet to the company's TekVet SmartManagement network data center. "The information is then accessed and used by managers via the Internet to better care for sick animals, or reviewed by regulatory agencies for trend analysis, or tracked by investors who, for the first time, can now monitor their investment and herd performance real-time via the Internet," he adds.
"Recently, while monitoring our cattle at our feedlot in Delta, Utah, the TekVet System alerted us that one of our animals was registering a temperature of 104.9 degrees Fahrenheit, and we thought for sure the SmartSensor device was malfunctioning," says Greg Smith, manager of Sugarville Feeders. "However, once we located the animal and administered a rectal probe, the temperature reading from the TekVet SmartSensor had been exactly right; we had ourselves a sick cow. Since that time the TekVet System has helped us identify additional sick animals by alerting us of temperatures that are outside of normal thresholds, and we've been able to immediately separate those animals out of the herd."
"Traditional methods of identifying sick cattle haven't changed much at all until now," says COLT Technologies' CEO Bret Smith. "Now, just by monitoring the temperature of the animals, producers can get a very accurate sense of how those animals are feeling. They don't have to wait for the appearance of the visual symptoms like runny noses, lethargic behavior and moist eyes. They now can treat the animal before those things ever happen and greatly reduce the chance of it infecting others."
COLT's Smith adds that the implications of this technology will drastically impact the process of raising beef in the United States and abroad.
"No longer will beef producers need to give a preventative antibiotic inoculation to animals as they arrive on a feedlot," he says. "Now, the only animals that get shots will be the sick animals that actually need the medication. Ultimately the beef and dairy products produced will be healthier, all natural and more valuable, since the animals won't automatically receive artificial and unnecessary inoculation."