Cattle breeding business VikingGenetics UK is to market the smaXtec internal cow health monitoring system in the UK. It is already used in 25 country markets.

The bolus-based system is claimed to be unique in measuring a cow’s activity, body temperature and rumen pH from within the rumen, rather than externally, allowing better accuracy, functionality and early warning of health conditions, oestrus and calving.

The smaXtec system was developed by an Austrian technology business – VikingGenetics says the new line complements its aim to improve animal health, fertility and welfare.

The orally administered bolus remains inside the cow throughout her life, obtaining a more accurate measure of core temperature than any neck collar or eartag device. Users report that core temperature readings alert them to health problems up to four days earlier than by normal observations. Increases in temperature may due to infectious diseases are more likely to be cured through early intervention without the use of antibiotics if intervention is early.

Conversely, a drop in body temperature could signify a metabolic disorder such as ketosis or signal that calving is to happen within 15 to 30 hours. Oestrus can be predicted with a high degree of accuracy through a combination of measurements including activity by the accelerometer within the bolus.

The bolus also monitors rumen pH to provide information on digestive health – for example ruminal acidosis in an individual cow or a whole herd diet issue. The smaXtec system runs on the cloud, with an interface designed for ease of use and easy integration with other on-farm software and mobile devices.

“We are delighted to bring such an innovative product to our UK customers through this collaboration,” notes UK & Ireland country manager for VikingGenetics Matt Stott. “Our link with smaXtec is a perfect complement to our breeding and genetics business, enabling us to offer added value while focussing on the priorities of health, welfare and sustainability.”