New human wearable monitoring technologies are released daily it seems. The advent of wearable technologies is also paving the future for animal health monitoring, especially as researchers look for more objective morbidity measures and as producers seek to adjust cattle management practices when a shortage of good labor may exist.
For feedlots, monitoring cattle for bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is top priority, especially during the first 45 days on feed. Researchers at West Texas A&M University have recently used accelerometer technology to examine potential differences in cattle behavior associated with BRD. They found that behaviors such as walking and laying behavior the day prior to BRD diagnosis were significantly different from other days and that these measures could likely be used for health monitoring.
Wearable technologies for cattle will become more widely used and accessible as they continue to improve, costs decline, and computational capacities increase. In the future these technologies will likely be used to improve clinical monitoring in food animal production enterprises.
Pillen, J. L., P. J. Pinedo, S. E. Ives, T. L. Covey, H. K. Naikare, and J. T. Richeson. 2016. Alteration of activity variables relative to clinical diagnosis of bovine respiratory disease in newly received feedlot cattle. The Bovine Practitioner. 50: 1-8. Link
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