Imagine being able to track when every single steer, in every pen, feeds or doesn’t feed. With HerdWhistle, you can. Whether it be a small 1,000 head operation, or a massive 60,000 head operation. The system enables feedlot operators to monitor each steer 24/7 to keep track of their eating behaviour on the lot.
HerdWhistle is a Precision Livestock Farming system, meaning it is a smart technology that monitors individual animals within a herd. The system is driven by RFID technology. As each steer arrives at the feedlot, they receive an ear tag with an RFID chip inside and their visual ID on the outside. The entire length of a pen’s feed bunk is lined with RFID sensors that read each steer’s unique tag each time they feed. That data then keeps the feedlot operator informed on which animals are eating normally and which are not.
Feedlots have never seen big data like this before. HerdWhistle can collect billions of data points per month on individual feeding behaviour. Data on feeding time, number of meals, and number of feeding events is informative on its own, but the real magic of the system is using that data to draw deeper insights.
Individual feeding behaviour tells a number of different things in cattle. One of the biggest insights that can be drawn is health and wellness. A steer’s feeding often becomes erratic when it's sick. The erratic behaviour often displays up to 7 days before any sort of visual, clinical symptoms appear. HerdWhistle catches all of this. It monitors 24/7 to create a baseline for the animal against its past behaviour, and against other animals in its pen. Whether it be a chronic or acute illness, HerdWhistle sees the unusual behaviour so operators can pull animals ahead of time.
Feeding efficiency is another key insight that can be pulled from the data. Overfeeding and underfeeding your cattle impacts productivity. An overfed steer consumes more feed with no significant increase in weight gain, while an underfed steer will take longer to reach its target weight. HerdWhistle can analyze the behaviours of all the cattle in the pen to see if some are overfed or underfed. Feedlot operators can then use these insights to adjust the amount of feed they are delivering to each bunk.
HerdWhistle also provides a heightened level of traceability across the feedlot. It takes a daily attendance of cattle in each pen to ensure every animal is where they should be. It creates a traceable profile for every individual steer as they move from pen to pen. It can even detect an animal that escapes its pen.
HerdWhistle provides never before seen data for feedlots. For the first time ever, feedlots can get a precision look into every individual animal’s feeding behaviour across their entire herd.