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TSB R&D Project

Well Cow is member of a consortium that has successfully secured a Technology Strategy Board collaborative research and development project. The consortium, lead by Embedded Technology Solutions consists of Strathclyde University, the Scottish Agricultural College, the National Milk Records, The Harbro Group Ltd, Well Cow Ltd and Wm Morrisons Supermarkets plc.

The consortium will develop a health and condition monitoring platform, a foundation to creating decision support applications in order to catalyse improvements in production efficiency and a concomitant reduction in waste and losses in the ruminant protein supply chain. The primary traits that the platform will monitor are dystocia, oestrus detection and sub-acute ruminal acidosis (SARA) in beef and dairy cattle. The solution will encompass reliable and continuous monitoring and sensing of specifically defined, important variables and signals in farmed livestock in commercial agricultural settings including challenging physical environments. As well as providing valuable management and labour saving tools, these solutions offer distinct efficiency advantages for commercial producers.

One of the project targets is the development of diagnostics for the early detection of nutritional disorders such as ruminal acidosis to provide production feedback on feedstuffs and feeding management, addressing ‘animal nutrition, feeds, feed processing and improved feed management’.

A desired outcome of better monitoring of animal behaviour and physiology will not only result in an improvement in animal health, but also welfare state and condition, addressing ‘animal health and welfare and disease management’.