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Well Cow secures TSB Feasibility Grant.

Over 120 UK businesses and 20 research institutions will collaborate in over 40 projects which were funded in the £18 million TSB collaborative research and development competition. The feasibility competition, aimed at micro and small businesses, funded over 80 projects with grants of up to £25,000. Well Cow were delighted to be one of the successful SMEs.

The Well Cow bolus monitors rumen pH to assist in the nutritional management of cattle, which improves both productivity and the animals health and welfare. In order to ease the process of data collection, Well Cow now wants to explore if it is possible to utilise a 'communication bridge', which combines the use of a collar to collect the data from its longlife wireless pH bolus, which sits in the rumen, with a wide area network so that the data can be captured and analysed on a smart device such as a smartphone or tablet computer.  The challenge in this feasibility study is to enable a ultra low power device, the pH bolus, to access the enormous computing power and wide area networking capability of the mobile phone to provide seamless remote data acquisition - bringing the latest in communication data collection into the farm.


Well Cow will be at Fieldays

Well Cow will be travelling down to Hamilton, New Zealand in June to attend Fieldays. New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays is the largest agribusiness exhibition in the Southern Hemisphere. New Zealand is a world leader in agriculture and pastoral farming and the National Fieldays is the ultimate launch platform for cutting edge agricultural technology and innovation. National Fieldays which is held over four days each June and has exhibition and demonstration space of over 40 hectares and boasts over 1,000 exhibitors.

Well Cow director, Malcolm Bateman who will be attending said “We feel it is important that we are able to talk to key players in the sector and attending Fieldays will be an excellent opportunity for us to meet leading companies in the field and explain the Well Cow bolus technology”


Well Cow’s wireless redox sensor on the market


Well Cow’s wireless bolus redox sensors are now available which can be used to monitor enzymatic oxidation-reduction reactions in the rumen of farm animals. These reactions can be positive in terms of allowing the animals to extract more usable nutrients from feed ingredients through microbial fermentation as well as digesting the microbes themselves. Microbes contain significant amounts of protein that are highly digestible and can support a great deal of the milk production of a dairy cow. However, these reactions are not always positive. Rumen microbes under the right conditions can be directly or indirectly responsible for some disease syndromes as a result of the fermentation process and toxic substances may be generated. These will adversely affect animal health and compounds may be produced that alter animal metabolism and productivity. Rumen microbes may also be responsible for reducing the availability of some essential dietary nutrients from the feed. Researchers can now investigate the impact of changes to dietary inputs on the oxidation-reduction reactions in the rumen over long periods using the bolus which records redox potential and temperature every fifteen minutes and stores the data for later download using the wireless reader.


TSB R&D Project

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.

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i4 Product Design Helps "Well Cow" Develop Wireless Enabled Device to Monitor Cows' Health

The world’s only long term device for farmers to help them monitor their dairy herd’s dietary health and improve milk yields using its unique wireless telemetry bolus system is being developed by Well Cow Limited™. To assist with this project, Well Cow has brought in one of Scotland’s leading product development companies, i4 Product Design, to work on re-designing the device over the next six months. Well Cow was recently successful in securing a SMART award from the Scottish Government to undertake a feasibility study to ensure the bolus continues to operate for longer periods in the very challenging environment of a cow’s rumen.

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