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RFID Tags for Livestock Management

  • Mahesh Tiwari
  • Mar 17, 2023
  • RFID
RFID Tags for Livestock Management

With increasing population of meat eaters, the number of animals being slaughtered for meat consumption is also increasing every year. While demand for meat is growing every day, the no. of people involved in cattle farming business remains limited which results in cattle industry working at overcapacity.

Livestock (cows, goats, sheep, etc.) get affected by injuries and several chronic and short term bacterial and viral diseases like anthrax, bovine ephemeral fever, bovine tuberculosis, akabane etc. and with declining skilled livestock workforce, farmers canโ€™t pay enough attention to livestock health as required. 

Earlier, there used to be large ranches spread over kilometers in Europe and north Americas, especially in northern and southern part of United States. State of Montana, Texas, Wyoming, Louisiana, Tennessee etc. used to have large ranches where cattle owners and cowboys were actively involved in cattle business but things have changed drastically due to climate change, irregular summer and winter conditions and diseases. Long and harsh winter conditions started to affect vegetation and in result cattle and cattle owners as well.

RFID for Livestock Management:

As the investment in dairy and meat production is increasing, the no. of livestock is also on the rise but for the lack of skill workforce in this industry, livestock owners are turning to automation and technological solutions like RFID, NFC etc., to trace, track and monitor the health of each animal.

This is driving the RFID tag market in livestock segment significantly.

The livestock RFID segment is growing pretty fast at a CAGR of 9.75%, expected to witness an increases of $ 880.8m USD over the period of 2023-2027, as per a report by Technavio.

How to Implement RFID for Livestock Management:

In this age of industry 4.0, Internet of Things provides many options for tracking and identification needs like NFC, RFID, BLE etc. 

The selection of a right solution for livestock management amongst these depends upon your tracking and identification needs which in turn depend on your livestock count and the area available for cattle farming. 

Many of these solutions are fit for various short range, indoor tracking like BLE (Bluetooth low energy) and NFC (near field communication), but RFID is suitable for outdoor tracking as well.

For properly implementing RFID system to identify, trace and track cattle/livestock on must assess the tracking needs. One must also possess the know-how of RFID system as well.

A RFID system primarily uses a RFID tag, a RFID reader and an antenna to communicate. The RFID tag sends the encoded data in the form of radio frequency signals to the reader through the antenna. The reader then decodes the data for the end user.  A RFID subsystem/ computer can also be used for keeping a record of the data and to generate insights.

Hereโ€™s how you can implement RFID for livestock management:

1.Tag each animal with a passive UHF RFID tag, use active UHF RFID tag for long range tracking needs.

2.Usually the tagging must be done on ears.

3.Install RFID readers on crucial intersections. Make sure it is safe from animals.

4.Install RFID antennas as well.

5.Set up a RFID subsystem to gather tracking and movement data which you can browse anytime you want and check on animals.

6.Using the movement data you can track missing animals, check if all the animals have returned safely and check if all are alright for the lack of movement in any animal.

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  • Created on Mar 17, 2023
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