Just before the parturition the temperature of cows and mares shows a clear drop. The calving and foaling detector RADCO uses this phenomenon to predict the birth. It measures the temperature every five minutes and transmits the measurement by radio at once to a computer.
HOW DOES RADCO MEASURE?
The temperature is measured electronically by means of a probe which is placed in the vagina. The probe has the dimensions of a pencil and is retained in the vagina by a simple system. The discomfort for the animal is minimal. An electrical cable connects the probe with a radio transmitter attached to a girdle on the withers of the animal. The temperature is measured with a resolution of 0.1°C. RADCO can watch sixteen animals at a time. Each emitter is marked by a character (A till P). This character is transmitted together with the measurement to the computer which is capable in this manner to store the data for each animal separately on the hard disk.
The system may be in place for several weeks, night and day, false alarms are rare.
WATCHING the CALVING and FOALING
Each entering measurement is compared immediately with the measurements of the previous days. While the temperatures vary somewhat in the course of the day (the highest temperatures are measured around midnight, the lowest in the morning) they are always compared with those taken at the same hour of the day. The measurement appears on the screen together with the deviation with the average of the previous days. When the deviation attains a given limit, in principle 0.4°C (you can enter an other value), the alarm will be activated, clearly audible in the whole house.
COWS have a temperature drop of 15 till 32 hours. They will not calf within 12 hours after the beginning of the drop. So it is sufficient to consult your computer two times a day e.g. in the morning and in the evening. The program is provided therefore. When you type the character of the transmitter, the computer will compare the measurements of the last days with the average of the last days and he will show the deviations on the screen in a table. In this manner you can see at a glance if a drop has began. If this is not the case you can be quiet during the following 12 hours, the calving will not proceed You may leave your home all day and at night you may stay in bed. Only when a drop is beginning you have to be in the vicinity.
MARES may begin to foal already half an hour after the temperature has dropped, but it normally takes a few hours more. This means that you may leave your house, but not longer than 30 minutes. Since the computer can transmit the alarms by telephone or GSM (via modem) you may be absent for a longer time, awaiting the alarm
Thus, the personnel watch, for mares as for cows, is reduced to a few hours just before the parturition. The days before the calving or foaling the computer will watch for you and you will note rapidly that it watches better than if you ware always near by your animals. You need not interrupt your activities during the day and you can even leave your home. In case of alarm you will be warned by your telephone or GSM. So you can watch your animals from several miles away and this is better than you did till now.
RADCO FOLLOWS the CALVING and FOALING
When the computer has announced the birth it continues to control the progress. Normally the temperature will not change noticeably. It remains low till the moment of parturition. If a problem is arising such as e.g. a malposition, insufficient opening or torsion of the uterus, in brief a difficult delivery, the temperature will go up already at the beginning of the problem. Sometimes the birth process has started without any perceptible sign because the animal, if there is an obstruction, tries to retard the birth as long as possible. The amniotic sac does not appear, there are no contractions and the animal is not lying down. The breeder is waiting too long before he decides to examine the animal and meanwhile the young has perished or is born with serious respiration problems. The computer on the contrary will have signalled the temperature rise long time before with an alarm. This is the ideal moment to give assistance or to decide to do a caesarean section. In this way RADCO has saved already a lot of calf and foals. Loss is practically excluded.
RADCO CAN DETECT MASTITIS
Normally RADCO is placed ten or fourteen days before the expected day birth. Besides the detection of the birth the system procures an unique control of the health of the animal since the temperature is an important indication of most illnesses. It is known that mastitis often occurs with dairy-cattle four or five days before the birth of the calf, when the milk flows to the udder. In many cases the breeder notices it to late, sometimes only at the moment of the birth, and the udder cannot be saved anymore. The cow must be treated a few days, must be milked separately, and the milk can not be delivered.
When the cow is watched by RADCO the breeder will be informed within five minutes by the rise of the temperature. He can start the treatment immediately and at the calving the udder will show no injury at all. The milk will be perfect, much labour saved and the animal may stay. When only one animal saved, RADCO has paid for itself.
Each computer working under WINDOWS is suitable. The receiver is connected to one of the serial ports at the backside of the computer. A clear instruction manual explains how the computer program has to be installed. This program is very easy to run. Without particular knowledge of computers you can work with it within fifteen minutes. The computer must always be on during the measurement, the screen may be out to save energy. If the computer has a modem you can transmit the alarms to two telephone numbers. If there is no telephone line you can connect a GSM to the computer.
The RADCO system can supervise 16 animals at the same time.
RANGE OF TRANSMISSION
The transmitter has a low emission power, thus the user needs no transmitter licence. The range is 900 ft in the open air and about 300 ft when obstacles are present between the receiver and the transmitter. When the range is insufficient you can apply different solutions. You can install the receiver in the barn and make an extension of the cable to the computer. This lengthening may be hundreds of meters. When the animals are miles away from your home you can install a computer in their vicinity and make use of the telephonic transmission for the alarms.
The alarm goes on in the following cases
- The temperature deviation attains 0.4°C (announcement of the birth)
- The body temperature is higher than 40.2°C (fever)
- The body temperature is higher than the value that as been introduced on the screen by the breeder (problems at the birth)
- The temperature is lower than 36°C (the probe is out)
- 16 minutes have passed without measurement (control of the radio transmission)
The fact that the drop of the body temperature is very characteristic for the beginning of the parturition and that this drop occurs a few times before, procures a principle above all others to predict the birth. With RADCO you have at your disposal an apparatus witch offers you a maximum guarantee that you will have a living calf or foal, in perfect health, because it did not suffer in the birth process.
The strong points of RADCO are:
- Good warning beforehand.
- Possibility for the breeder to leave his home.
- Continuous control of the state of health of mother and her young.
- Control of the progress of the birth which allows intervention in good time.
- Well-being of the animals. You will be there when they need you.
- And finally for you: Time-saving , more calf’s and foals.