Livestock wearables

When discussing wearables, the first products that come to many people’s minds are smart watches, connected jewelry, fitness bands and pet trackers. Yet wearables for farm animals and livestock are an area that’s gone through significant growth over the past few years.

It’s also a segment of wearables with significant potential for continued expansion and investment. According to the Wearable Technology for Animals 2017-2027 report by IDTechEx, the global market for animal wearables will grow to $2.6 billion by 2025.

Here’s a look at some of the innovative products in this upstart area of wearables.

Horse wearables
Pet wearables are nothing new, but two three-year old companies, SeeHorse and Equisense created wearables for horses. These monitors allow for continual tracking of horse health stats enabling more comprehensive care, particularly to horses that are young, untamed or in quarantine.

Seehorse’s compact wireless monitor tracks and provides alerts for temperature, heart rate, respiration, activity and giving birth. Equisense’s bodysuit for horses also provides monitoring of movement, heart beat, breathing, perspiration, stress and temperature as well as notifications to owners about symptoms of colic, a life-threatening illness for horses.

Herd counting
There are several companies such as Ear Tag Central and Hana Micron offers Bluetooth ear tags that allow farmers to take inventory of herds by scanning multiple animals at a time with a Bluetooth wand.

e-Pills & Ear Tags
e-Pills from companies including Well Cow and Vital Herd allow farmers to put the high-tech pills into livestock feed so they can monitor animal’s diet and digestive system including their pH, internal temperature and other data, broadcasting the information via Bluetooth to collar chips to ensure farmers can keep them well-fed and healthy.

Companies including Quantified Ag and Tek Vet have developed ear tags that allows users to monitor temperature, which can be one of the first indications of illness in livestock. This allows for earlier detection and treatment, not only saving animals’ lives but cutting back on the $5 billion a year lost to animal sickness and death in the U.S. alone.

Collars & Predator Prevention
Several startups have developed livestock collars that eliminate bell collars (which actually can reach up to 113 decibels and cause some livestock to go deaf and chew their food less) for more sophisticated GPS systems that let farmers keep better track of their animals and protect against potential threats.

In a country that loses approximately 5,300 sheep a day to predators, South African company EShepard developed a collar that uses a sheep’s movements to detect when its agitated by a potential predator, triggering an alarm and lights on the collar to go off in order to drive them away and keep flocks safe.

CattleWatch from Israel developed a collar and ear tag system that monitors livestock eating, activity, reproduction, weight and potential illness. The products act as GPS devices that can detect potential predators or thieves and act as a geo-fence to keep any animals from roaming too far. Their system also allows farmers to send live feeds via drone to their phones to keep an eye on their herds and flocks remotely.

Scottish Silent Herdsmen developed a high-tech collar the monitors livestock activity and sends alerts to a farmers phone, tablet or computer if there’s a change. The collar also detect if an animal is in heat or has increased its milk productivity.

Similarly, the Lely collar from England monitors physical activity, detects when an animal is in heat and even has a microphone to record and analyze its cud chewing for any changes.

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