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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Proceedings of the Seventh International Symposium, 18-20 May 2005 (Beijing, China) Publication Date 18 May 2005  701P0205.(doi:10.13031/2013.18418)
Authors:   R.A. Eigenberg, T.M. Brown-Brandl, J.A. Nienaber
Keywords:   RFID, electronic identification, ear tags, feeding behavior, shade study

Cattle identification systems (IDS) provide means for producers to maintain individual animal records in a database for ownership, health, and treatment history. Adaptations of these identification methods may be used to gain insights into animal performance and behavior for research, and ultimately as a production tool. An electronic identification system to monitor cattle behavior (BIDS) was designed and installed in a shade research facility constructed at USMARC. The goal of the system was to quantify performance and behavioral response in a production setting. The facility consists of 16 pens, containing eight animals per pen. Eight of the pens allow access to a shade structure, with the remainder having no shade access. The BIDS has been integrated into the bunk feeding system to monitor eating behavior. The system was developed for this research application to be low cost, rugged, and flexible. Antennas and electronic circuit boards were designed to allow individual eating locations and animals to be identified. Software was written to perform the control, reading, interpretation and logging of ear tag data. This paper details the design, construction, installation, and initial results of this research tool.

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