Livestock disease detection could be radically transformed with the use of a small electronic device called a telemetric bolus. The tubular unit, which is 120 grams and 7.5 centimetres long, is designed to sit in the rumen, the major digestive organ of cattle. It can tell farmers what’s happening deep inside their animals.
University of Guelph researchers Brian McBride and Ousama Alzahal, Animal and Poultry Science, worked alongside veterinarians, engineers and mathematicians to develop the tool, which can detect common illnesses even before clinical symptoms appear.
The telemetric bolus records cattle temperature readings using a tiny radio transmitter. Readings are eventually transmitted to a farmer’s computer.
In the video here, SPARK’s Natalie Osborne talks with the researchers about their groundbreaking study. To learn more, view the video which appears on farms.com as part of the University of Guelph and OMAFRA partnership.