Calving Alert Device Being Developed

AUSTRALIA - A remote calving alert device that could make it easier to monitor pregnant heifers and lower calf losses is a step closer to development.
calendar icon 18 April 2012
clock icon 1 minute read
Meat & Livestock Australia

The first phase of a Meat and Livestock Australia funded research project aiming to develop a remote calving alert device was completed last year, identifying three prototypes that could locate the time and location of calving.

Run by a team at Charles Sturt University in New South Wales, the second phase of the project will build and evaluate the three prototype devices before selecting the best device that can be taken into field trials.

The prototypes use a Taggle wireless chip to collate and transmit data around physiological and behavioural changes in the pregnant heifers.

MLA Northern Beef Project Manager, Mick Quirk, said the successful development of an effective device could help future research into perinatal calf losses.

"Calf losses occur for a whole range of reasons – from poor mothering, dystocia, exposure, nutritional deficiencies and diseases. Dystocia alone has been estimated to cost the industry more than $200 million per year,” he said.

“Research on this topic under paddock conditions has been hampered by an inability to monitor when and where calving has occurred, so a device like this will be vital to getting a handle on the most important causes of calf loss.”

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