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Temp-Taking Bolus Monitors Health Of Cattle
A high-tech "bolus" is one of the latest devices for early detection of health problems in dairy cattle.
  Based on the same wireless technology that records airplane tire temperature and pressure, the bolus sends the cow's temperature to a software program each time the animal walks through a reader panel created by DVM Systems, LLC, in Greeley, Colo.
  "This 3 1/2-in. bolus is designed to exceed the life of the animal," explains Kevin Wild, CEO of DVM. A balling gun is used to insert it down the cow's throat to the second compartment of the stomach where it settles and stays without any ill effects to the animal.
  The system gathers temperatures and calculates baselines for each cow. The reader panel is set up on the way to the milking parlor to gather temperatures regularly.
  "The primary purpose at this time is early detection for illnesses such as mastitis, metritis and pneumonia," Wild says.
  Temperature changes identified by the DVM system can also be useful for improved reproduction by identifying ovulation or to indicate when a cow is close to calving.
  The system has attracted much interest from university researchers at Colorado State University and the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, as well as dairy farms in the U.S. and around the world including places such as New Zealand and Saudi Arabia. More than 1.5 million temperatures have been taken in studies and on working farms.
  "Any dairy with 300 cows and up is a viable customer ű basically anyone who wants to ensure the health of their animals," Wild says. "Larger farms realize even greater benefits. As farms gain in size, they have need for more specific individual cow information because they can't always conduct daily examinations of all cows. This gives them the capability to focus their resources on the cows that most need assistance."
  "A vet can remotely look at the software and review alerts, which is critical," adds Bud Stanley, CFO. "We plan to have alerts sent by text and email."
  Cost for the system, which includes boluses, the durable plastic reader that bolts to posts, and the TempTrackÖ software, costs less than 8 cents/day/cow. TempTrack software is a proprietary software program that incorporates algorithms that can analyze temperature, milk weight, individual cow health information and other data to identify potential individual and herd health issues.
  "It's good for any ruminant animals like sheep and camels," Rob Stanley, COO, notes. "This is just the tip of the iceberg."
  The system has a one-year warranty and is available through domestic and international distributors with additional information on DVM System's website.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, DVM Systems, LLC, 3115 35th Ave., Greeley, Colo. 80634 (ph 970 506-4044; www.dvmsystems.com).

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2011 - Volume #35, Issue #4