Remote calving alert for beef cattle: Technology development

Scott Norman, David Swain, Kym Patison, Cyril Stephen, Katie Asplin, Jaymie Loy, Don Menzies

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Abstract

This project developed a remote calving alert device, integrating Taggle® electronic technology into previously developed intravaginal prototypes. The final prototype was deployed and tested for its ability to remain in-situ during gestation, and detect time and location of calving.The device was inserted into 20 early pregnant cows, with 20 contemporary controls. A Taggle ear tag was also deployed to detect parturition related movement behaviour. Device retention until calving (6 to 7 months) was 75%. Blood results and vaginal inspection did not reveal any adverse effects to the cow during gestation. Technical problems associated with vegetation and signal strength were identified, with suggested solutions.This intravaginal device can be retained in the vagina of pregnant cows for at least 6 months without interfering with cow health or gestation and this is a ‘world first’ result. Increasing signal strength and antennae sensitivity should overcome signal detection interference associated with long grass and vegetation. Small modifications to the retention module should improve device retention. The prototype has great potential to be a valuable tool for investigating calf losses and this value will be enhanced if coupled with maternal movement behaviour monitoring.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNorth Sydney, NSW
PublisherMeat and Livestock Australia
Commissioning bodyMeat and Livestock Australia
Number of pages50
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2015

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Norman, S., Swain, D., Patison, K., Stephen, C., Asplin, K., Loy, J., & Menzies, D. (2015). Remote calving alert for beef cattle: Technology development. Meat and Livestock Australia.