Q&A on Remote Monitoring of Beef Cows

What is SenseHub Beef and how does it help the cattle producer?

SenseHub Beef is a new product from Allflex. Special ear tags help you know if a cow is in heat, is sick or not eating right. The reports can go to your phone in near real time. That’s why we say, cow status is in the palm of your hand.

What are producers saying about SenseHub Beef?

Whether they run larger or smaller operations, they are all busy. They like having time to do other things. Maybe they have jobs in town, run a second business, do things in their community or have active kids. They can do these things and monitor their cows, too.

How does SenseHub create value for a producer?

When it’s breeding season, SenseHub will detect when your cows come into estrus and list which are ready to breed. By getting those cows bred on time you can increase conception rates in that first cycle. The report tells you which cows are in heat, so you will know later if a few cycle back and need to be bred again. Confirmed breeding dates may also be helpful during calving season. The bottom line for many producers is increasing conception rates on higher-value A.I. calves.

How does heat detection work?

SenseHub detects movement variation of the tagged animal. A cow or heifer coming into estrus has a big activity change. Their rumination and eating patterns also shift. The system will detect these changes. It’s a very visible spike in the activity data and a decline in rumination.

Does SenseHub monitor health year-round?

Rumination is one of the most sensitive indicators of wellbeing. That foundation helps SenseHub alert you when a cow is in distress, off feed or getting sick and tell you to do a health check on that animal. A common concern is to monitor cows during a change of feed. That may be when cows are turned out onto green pasture, getting a batch of spoiled feed or shifting to corn stalks and being exposed to too much grain. At other times we need to stay on top of summer pneumonia or foot rot. We also have seen cases where a calf was sick and the system alerted because  the cow indicated abnormal behavior. SenseHub will detect possible problems, often before you can see any signs of them, and generate a list of cows to inspect.

How do producers take advantage of the health reports?

There are many ways to pre-empt problems with this kind of information. Calving difficulty, abortion, digestive issues from spoiled feed, animals that are down and not getting up, stress from weaning or predation, these are examples of things SenseHub will help you find. It will inform you of the need to check an animal because her eating, movement and rumination patterns have changed. The data also can show you that an animal is recovering normally or continuing to crash. You can monitor grazing during heat stress or see when pastures are running low on grass. You also can monitor feeding activity to be sure feed truck drivers are on time. With SenseHub, you pick up on subtle yet critical clues to herd status.

How complex is this product?

SenseHub Beef is easy to use; we do the work for you. It’s designed and tested by cattle producers for cattle producers. The science behind the product is very strong. However, the interface is simple and it is easy to network your management team so you are all on the same page. As simple as a basic alert, the dashboard is the base of the program. Diving into more detailed data is up to the user and we provide it if that’s what our customer wants.

What’s the bottom line?

Any more, it seems like there never enough time. With SenseHub, you can get more done while you’re taking time to enjoy a lifestyle we have chosen in the cattle business. We provide the information to make your day easier and more efficient.