Livestock biometrics: What is it and what are the benefits?
Livestock biometrics has significantly advanced in recent years. As technology advances and the need to do more with less is growing, biometrics plays a crucial role in future farming.
But what is livestock biometrics? And what are the benefits? Let’s take a look.
What is livestock biometrics? A new way of identifying cattle
Farm stock identification has been brought into the 21st century. Livestock biometrics is a way of identifying an animal using a pattern recognition system based on the physical attributes of an animal.
Used for livestock identification, traceability and health and welfare assessments, livestock biometrics can enhance efficiency, productivity and sustainability on your farm.
There are several ways of recording and storing livestock biometrics. What was once just nose prints, DNA and retinal vascular patterns (RVP), livestock biometrics has evolved into RFID tags, IoT devices, AI models for identifying problems and innovative smart tags that allow you to monitor stock from 100 yards away.
Modern-day biometrics shows just how much of an impact technology can have on improving the running of your farm.
The benefits of livestock biometrics
1. Identify livestock quickly and easily
Whatever method of biometrics you use, it allows you to identify specific livestock quickly and easily. Biometrics data can give you all the information you need on the animal's health, age and origin. This makes monitoring, decision-making, movement or preparing for sale much easier.
2. Helps with health management
As previously mentioned, biometrics data provides information on an animal's health, including any medical conditions. This allows for the management of the condition, distribution of the appropriate treatment and isolation, should this be needed.
3. Identify illnesses earlier
Today, biometrics can identify an illness before you even know that it’s present. Often, symptoms may not show for at least 24 hours, meaning the human eye can’t detect them. The solution to this? Ear tags are equipped with sensors that track an animal’s biometrics.
These sensors can monitor factors such as walking activity, body temperature and feed intake, establishing if an animal is unwell before symptoms show. This allows you to give treatment earlier, speeding up the recovery process and enhancing the chance of survival.
4. Trace livestock
Biometric data can be used to physically track the location of an animal or even trace the origin of that particular animal. This data can be collected via tag, which can also have GPS capabilities, allowing you to trace the location of livestock.
Biometrics also enables you to trace the origin of an animal linked to DNA. Not only does this give you the genetic profile of an animal and highlight any health implications, but it also helps sell livestock.
5. Enables sustainable farming practices
Using biometric data and monitoring can enhance the sustainability of your farm by opening up new opportunities and farming techniques. Precision farming is an example of this. Reliant on biometric data and sensors, precision farming has the potential to maximise output with the most efficient use of resources, generating a larger profit.
6. Make farm management easier
Livestock biometrics can link up and be stored through farm management software, making it easier to manage your farm and livestock by clicking a button. Whether you’re monitoring your medicine cabinet, weighing cattle, tracking herd movement or looking to sell your animals, farm management apps are driven by the biometric data you collect.
7. Enhancing farm efficiency
At the core, livestock biometrics is about enhancing farm efficiency. All of the previous benefits save you time and money, contributing to your business' overall productivity and efficiency. If you’re spotting health issues earlier, cutting down the time spent manually tracing and identifying animals, you’ll have more time to spend on other tasks or at home with your loved ones.
Preparing your farm for the future
If you’re looking to enhance productivity, improve sustainability and grow the profitability of your farm, we can help you with that. Our resource covering everything profitability has all the information you need about the latest innovations in farming and practices to help you succeed. Click the link below to find out more.