Stillwater company develops bovine sensor

US - Measuring an inch in diameter and 4 1 /2 inches long, this capsule is big enough for a cow.
calendar icon 25 October 2006
clock icon 1 minute read

In fact, the pill, or bolus, Steve Trost’s company developed is for a cow. The ingested bolus is part of a system Trost says can make cattle herds healthier and safer.

Trost, director of research and development for Strategic Solutions International, said his Stillwater company’s True-Tag system makes monitoring cattle quicker, easier and more effective. TrueTag consists of a bolus that will remain in an animal’s stomach, monitoring temperature and sending the information, via radio signal, to a tag attached to the animal’s ear that displays the reading. Future versions are expected to transmit readings to remote monitoring stations.

Much smaller ingested monitoring devices already are being used in people, including capsules that contain tiny cameras and others that monitor the acid level of the digestive system. Strategic Solutions’ first commercial product, the intelliRock, is used by the construction industry to monitor concrete strength and curing.

To determine the health of cattle, Trost said, ranchers and other handlers typically monitor four criteria: depression, feed intake, respiration and temperature. The first three, he said, are done visually and are used to decide whether to segregate an animal for monitoring and a rectal temperature check. But with the tag, temperature can be monitored throughout the animal’s life, he said.


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