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SmartShepherd collars are used on livestock for 48 hours to determine maternal/offspring relationships. The collars are robust and do not require access to networks or phone systems to work, so can be deployed anywhere. A handheld RFID scanner is used to allocate collars to animals, speeding up the process (up to 120 animals / hour).
The results are generally provided within 48 hours of the data being collected from the collars (compared to 3 months for genomic parentage testing). SmartShepherd is provided in Australia by Sheepmatters - service providers train the user and then the system is rented for as long as required rather than being directly purchased. If you are differentially feeding twin-bearing ewes, the SmartShepherd solution allows you to quickly identify non-performing animals so they can be removed from getting access to excess feed. Longer term, distinct maternal genetic differences can be identified to reduce lamb losses and increase productivity.
The system can easily be deployed on mobs up to to 700 animals by two operators.
Collars are rented from Sheepmatters, the average cost of determining maternal pedigree for a lamb is under $10 per successful match. More details can be obtained from Sheepmatters.
Collars are placed on ewes and lambs and assigned to their existing ID (RFID or visual identifier). The animals are released and then mustered after 48 hours. The collars are then switched off remotely and removed. The data is then extracted from the collars before they can be re-deployed onto the next mob of sheep.
The collars require a small, inexpensive battery to be replaced every 20 days of active use.
Customer owns the data and can optionally allow its use by third parties
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