Algorithms getting ready to saddle up at feedlots

May 31, 2021

Checking each pen for a sick animal at a feedlot is like the world’s worst game of Where’s Waldo — oftentimes the cattle mostly look the same and if you’re not quick enough to spot the sick one, the consequences could cost you that animal.

But a new ultra-high-frequency RFID monitoring system is taking the guesswork out of pen-checking for feedlot operators and potentially one day, for cow-calf operations.

“Currently today, we are 100 per cent at the mercy of our pen-checkers’ ability to visually see that sick animal,” said Simon Cobban, manager of feedlot solutions at UFA. “They have no tools today to help them, other than visually identifying the sick animals — and sometimes that’s a little like trying to find Waldo in a pen.

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