Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2005
Publication Date: May 15, 2005
Citation: Eigenberg, R.A., Brown Brandl, T.M. 2005. Development of a cattle id monitoring system. Proceedings, Seventh International Livestock Environment Symposium. p. 600-606. Interpretive Summary: Cattle identification systems (IDS) are commercially available and allow producers to maintain individual animal records for ownership, health, and treatment history. Adaptations of these methods are useful for research, and ultimately as an innovative management tool. An IDS to monitor cattle behavior was designed with commercial components. The installation was in a shade research facility at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, Nebraska. The goal was to quantify performance and feeding behavior in a production setting. The facility consists of 16 pens, designed for eight animals per pen. Eight of the pens allow access to shade and eight have no shade. Antennas were integrated into the feed bunk to monitor eating behavior. The system was developed to be low cost, rugged, and flexible. Antennas and electronic circuit boards were designed to measure eating locations and times for each animal. Software was written to read, interpret, and log ear tag numbers. This paper presents the design, construction, installation, and initial results of this research tool.
Technical Abstract: Cattle identification systems (IDS) provide means for producers to maintain individual animal records in a database for health and tracking records. Adaptations of these identification methods may be used to gain insights into animal performance and behavior for research and potentially as a production tool. An IDS was installed in a shade research facility constructed at USMARC to quantify performance and behavioral response of cattle in a feedlot setting. The facility consists of sixteen pens that will house up to eight animals per pen. Eight of the pens allow access to a shade structure, with the remainder having no shade access. The IDS has been integrated into the bunk feeding system to monitor eating behavior. The system was designed for this research application to be low-cost, rugged, and flexible. Antennas and electronic circuit boards were designed to allow individual eating locations and animals to be identified. Software was written to perform the control, reading, interpretation and logging of ear tag data. This paper details the design, construction, installation and initial results of this research tool.