A piece of technology designed to help detect when cattle are in heat was tested Monday.
The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association hosted SenseHub Cow-Calf Field Day at D&N Ranch, just south of Peebles yesterday afternoon from 12-3 p.m.
Dr. Samuel Wauer is the Associate Director of Cattle Veterinary Services with Merck Animal Health, the company that owns the technology behind the ear tag, called SenseHub Cow-Calf.
Dr. Wauer explained the ear tags are usually put on two weeks before cows are due to be bred. They “monitor movement and behaviour that allow for 24-hour heat detection on pasture, and gives customized breeding windows to that individual cow,” according to Wauer.
“That data is transformed into an alert that’s sent to a producer’s phone and notifies them the best time to breed that cow, and then the tags themselves will actually light up for easier identification of that animal on pasture.” he added.
Wauer says the product has been out for a short period of time, noting it’s a “fairly new technology” for the beef industry but “you see it a lot more on the dairy side.”
This technology, he says, was developed previously by another company before Merck Animal Health acquired it, adding it’s been “years in the making to get it to where it is now.”
He says the long-term goal is to make the beef industry run more efficient and get better results.
“The hope is by demonstrating this technology that we can achieve both, and to minimize the amount of time-consuming labour that it takes to do conventional heat detection,” Wauer said. “Just make on-farm labour a lot more efficient.”
He says this initiative was made reality through the Agricultural Demonstration of Practices and Technologies (ADOPT), a provincial government government program designed to help producer groups and First Nations communities demonstrate and evaluate new ag practices and technologies at the local level.
Hear the full interview with Dr. Samuel Wauer below.