Feed Lot

DEC 2017

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

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move to the front of the line. It's re- a lly interesting, from the animal's perspective, how the outfitted ani- mal acts as well as how the other animals perceive him." One clip of footage made the crowd laugh — when it became ev- ident how often cattle touched noses to another animal's camera. But this information could be help- ful, too, "This is important to know when it comes to disease spread," Webb said. "A lot of diseases are trans- mitted through direct contact, so now we'll have the level of contacts and how frequently they occur." PinPoint GPS receivers Like the name suggests, Pin- Point GPS receivers are small. Webb showed an example of one that was the size of a quarter and weighed about two ounces, and an- other that was the size of a dime and weighed about one ounce. While their size makes them very versatile and their power allows for taking many locations, historically the downside was a short battery life (generally about two weeks). Today's models, however, have built-in solar panels to keep the bat- tery charged. They've also integrat- ed a remote communication so the user can collect data without gath- ering the animals back up. Webb said commercial manu- facturers are currently working on ear tag applications for this tech- nology, but the challenge lies in making them lightweight enough for cattle to be comfortable. Bluetooth technology "If you've got a smartphone, you're probably familiar with Blue- tooth technology," Webb said. It turns out, there are opportu- nities to use the technology to learn more about our cattle, too. "If you think about the RFID ear tag we're familiar with, I would say we can fit these Bluetooth circuit boards into an ear tag in the future, and collect a lot more information than just simple animal identifi- cation or do asset tracking," Webb said. "We could have a lot more information, not just on the animal i tself, but on the behavior and the welfare of that animal, too." Accelerometers Small circuit boards that meas- ure acceleration, accelerometers a re added to a collar. They feature a slot for a micro SD card, which can easily be removed and popped into the user's computer when the unit is recovered. This technology is especially p romising when it comes to evalu- ation average daily gain, Webb said. When it comes to tracking tech- nology and practical applications on cow-calf operations or feed- yards, he urges cattlemen to not only think outside of the box but to "blow that box up so you aren't tempted by the box," and to con- tact the institute with comments or suggestions. FL FEED•LOT  December 2017 7

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