• • • Using new technology to monitor cattle
Technology has advanced for monitoring the health of cattle both at calving time and on pasture. It is there to have high-resolution cameras with telephoto lenses which can pivot 360 degrees and go to infrared images at night. Even one camera strategically placed in the calving area can cover a big area.
The learning and teaching experience can be huge with cameras. Showing new employees, students or urban visitors a calving cow has many teachable moments. For the herd manager, the lens can focus on what is protruding from the vulva and determine if a malpresentation needs to be brought in and corrected.
Calving behaviour can be taught because it allows one to let more cows calve in the winter naturally outdoors. Newborns can be brought into a shelter right away to minimizing frozen ears. Some cameras can even be accessed through the phone so images can be looked at remotely.
Other uses for cameras will help a producer see if newborns are up and sucking and determine any changes in cow behaviour and nesting, indicating impending calving. Cows off feed and not chewing their cud can easily be detected as well.