Improving Animal Welfare Through RFID Cattle Tracking
Having a proper agriculture and livestock management system can help improve efficiency, animal welfare, and sustainability. With so many innovations available for livestock management, we want to focus more on RFID cattle tracking. This method uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for easily identifying, tracking, and managing cattle in many ranches worldwide.
If you are new to RFID for cattle tracking, this is the guide for you. We deeply dive into understanding the benefits of RFID cattle tracking, the types of tags used, and the regulations and standards to know, among other things.
RFID Cattle Tracking Benefits
Sometimes, reading about the benefits is what can drive you to get the RFID tags for cattle tracking. Below, we go into detail to understand more about what makes RFID tags popular among users.
Enhanced livestock management
The RFID tags can easily be customized to specific cattle, making tracking easier. Also, this allows the ranchers to have precise records of each animal, including its birth date, medical treatments, and vaccines.
The data is vital for identifying the best breeding candidates since you would want cattle with the best health.
Improved animal welfare
RFID tags provide you with real-time insights about the behavior and health of the herd. If signs of illness or distress occur, this can be detected quickly, allowing for immediate intervention and reducing the chances of disease spreading.
This technology still aids with maintaining optimal living conditions for the livestock. Thus, it ensures the cattle are comfortable.
Still on welfare, you can now detect diseases earlier with this technology. If cattle are sick, it can be isolated, treated, and monitored further. You can now reduce the chances of the disease spreading in cattle with this kind of tag.
Efficient feeding management
The farmers can monitor the individual cattle’s feeding habits plus their nutritional requirements. This means you can now tailor a more efficient and affordable feeding program. Since you have precise control of how the cattle feed, this can reduce wastage of feed, lowering feed costs and promoting healthier weight gain in your herd.
Streamlined record keeping
Anyone who herds cattle knows the importance of record keeping. It can help a lot along the way. Traditional record keeping is still in practice today, but it is not the most efficient. It can also be susceptible to errors and takes too much time.
RFID helps automate such a process. The result is having accurate data that is easily managed and accessible. Ranchers can keep records on the lineage, medical history, cattle performance data, and much more.
Making data-driven decisions
RFID technology generates a wealth of data about the cattle you own. This is important for analysis and making informed decisions. The data-driven insights can help a lot in making decisions pertaining to breeding, feeding, and hard management. You may also use this data to predict trends in cattle and optimize resource allocation.
Types of RFID Tags Used For Cattle Tracking
RFID tags can come in different shapes and designs, but there are other ways of categorizing the tags meant for cattle tracking. Here are a few ideas on which type of RFID tag to use for your cattle.
These are probably the most common RFID tags you will get for your animal. They are typically attached to the animal ear. Most of them are passive, meaning they have no internal powder. They need the RFID reader’s signal to work. People like them for being cheap and still have a good read range.
You can also come across active RFID ear tags. These come with a battery as the power source. Because of this, they offer a longer read range and are ideal for ranches with expansive areas.
These tags are designed for ingestion. The cattle ingests it, and the tag will reside in the stomach (rumen). Their work mostly is to monitor the core body temperature of the cattle and still provide real-time health data.
Expect them to have a longer lifespan than ear tags because they are not exposed to harsh environments.
These tiny RFID microchips are easily implanted under the cattle’s skin. These are used for the permanent identification of the cattle. These microchips are built to be tamper-resistant and provide you with a high level of accuracy and security.
The RFID neck tags are mostly larger than ear tags and would be attached to the animal’s neck. They would be used in conjunction with the other identification methods as a backup method for identifying and tracing the animal.
Considerations For Choosing RFID Tags for Cattle Tracking
You have already seen the benefits of using the RFID tags for cattle tracking. However, with many options available, how do you choose the right one? Below are expert tips to help you properly understand choosing the best RFID tags for cattle tracking.
- Environment and conditions on your ranch or farm may determine which tags work best. Use the highly durable and weather-resistant tags if the cattle are exposed to extreme moisture or rugged terrain.
- The tag type is also quite important. It should be able to suit your needs. Examples of the types of tags include ear tags, bolus tags, neck tags, and implantable tags. The choice should always align with the tracking objectives, plus animal comfort.
- Look at the desired read range you would like to get with your tracking system. If the cattle roam over a large ranch, then get tags with a longer read range. Such options include active tags.
- Tamper resistance is worth mentioning. It is best to have RFID tags that are resistant to failures. This means that the tags can prevent unauthorized removal duplication.
- Integrating with existing RFID systems is also highly recommended. The new system can easily be integrated into the existing one and work seamlessly. This would make the owner not have to spend more money on changing everything. A good example is if you are buying new RFID tags, they should work well with existing RFID readers.
- Look at the budget you are willing to work with. Many tags are cost-effective, but if you have to get even the readers, then the price goes up. However, we recommend evaluating the cost-effectiveness of the tags over the years by considering durability.
- You may have to add more RFID tags to the cattle at some point. That is why you need to understand if the system offers scalability. Make sure it is a scalable system to add more tags as the herd grows. A provider should tell you about this when buying the RFID tracking system.
RFID Cattle Tracking: The Tagging Process Best Practices
Before you can actually have the RFID system in place, you have to go through several stages. We want to look at that to ensure you do it right.
- Tag selection:Ensure that you are using the correct tags depending on the current needs of the ranch. This can depend on the read range, durability, and data storage capacity.
- Training:You might need to train those responsible for tagging. This includes the proper application of the tags to ensure there are proper animal handling techniques.
- Animal handling:Handling animals correctly during tagging is vital to minimize stress and discomfort. It is advisable to use low-stress handling techniques. Of course, the safety of the animal and personnel is important.
- Tag placement:Ensure that the tags are correctly placed on the animals. If you are unsure how to do this, have a professional handle it. In addition to tag placement, tag orientation is also done to avoid misreads and data inaccuracies.
- Maintenance:Even with the tags in place, maintenance is necessary. Options include calibrating and maintaining the tag applicators more often. This should make it easier to use next time to add tags to other animals. We still recommend sterilizing the tag applicators to reduce the chances of infection.
We advocate for continuous training and evaluation of the RFID cattle tracking systems in addition to the tips above. This ensures the system can work great, just as you need it to.
RFID Tags Standards and Regulations For Cattle Tracking
Standards and regulations ensure that you can track cattle effectively and safely. Expect these to vary from one region or country to another. However, there are some standards and regulations that are adopted in many countries. That is what we want to see below.
ISO11784 and ISO11785
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) established these standards vital for animal identification by using RFID technology. The ISO 11784 talks about the structure of the unique identification code, while the ISO 11785 outlines the encoding and data structure found in RFID tags.
Compliance with these standards means that there is better compatibility and interoperability on a wide scale worldwide for animal identification systems.
Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) United States
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) implemented the ADT program to ensure that farmers can use RFID tags for animal identification. These tags must be ISO 11784 and 11785 compliant. The name of the standard shows that the tags are meant for disease traceability and management.
Country Level Regulations
You will also come across national and regional regulations. Expect to find countries and regions having their own regulations governing cattle identification and tracking. The regulations specify the type of RFID tags to use for animal tracking, the type of data stored on the tags, how they can be attached to animals, and more.
Expect to come across many regulations on using RFID cattle tracking tags. Just ensure you are compliant to avoid any trouble with the local authorities.
Why Choose JLTcard RFID Tags for Cattle Tracking
Now that you know more about RFID cattle tracking, you will need a reliable partner for getting the RFID tags. As JLTcard, we pride ourselves on having high-quality RFID tags. They are designed to work in the rugged conditions of cattle ranching. We make sure the tags are weather-resistant and durable, thus being great for outdoor use.
JLTcard also has a wide range of tag options. They include ear tags, bolus tags, and implantable tags. With such options, having the right tag that suits the cattle tracking needs becomes easier. It could be for individual identification, health monitoring, or others.
JLTcard comes with several options for customization. This means that you can tailor the tags to suit your specific requirements. Let us say you have unique requirements, such as branding; then we can do that for you.
We expect that buyers want the read range and performance to be exceptional. We promise to help you get just that. Our RFID tags are quite reliable and deliver consistent performance. You also get the best read range for cattle tracking to capture the right data even for the larger grazing areas.
The JLTcard cattle RFID tags are designed to comply with industry standards. This is in regard to standards and regulations surrounding using RFID for livestock. So, you will be safe using our tags on your animals.
RFID cattle tracking systems have helped people have efficient livestock handling methods. They can now improve how well they track their animals around the ranch. Besides tracking their movement, the system makes it easier to identify sick animals and know their breeding history, among other things. The best part about RFID systems is that they follow various standards and regulations vital for ensuring there is better interoperability and functionality. Get an RFID system today to see how well it can improve your ranch management.