Cattle Feedlots Go Digital

Cattle Feedlots Go Digital

On a feedlot, there are a number of diseases that are invisible to the human eye until several days after infection. The sick cattle may look perfectly healthy, but there is an underlying disease working below the surface. In the early stages, these types of illness can only be detected through eating and drinking behaviour; something only technology can track.  

HerdWhistle is an RFID monitoring system that tracks each animal’s eating and drinking behaviours, detecting signs of illness up to 7 days sooner. It monitors the entire feedlot 24/7 and sends alerts when an animal may be sick. Farmers can then quickly treat the animals and provide the best possible care for their livestock. 

HerdWhistle is one of the many technologies that are driving digital transformation across feedlots. The traditional “pen and clipboard” methods of the past are being replaced by digital technologies that are much faster and produce more accurate results. From feed optimization to inventory and health management, farmers everywhere can benefit from digital transformation on their feedlot. 

Micro Technologies

Maintaining consistent and accurate feed is essential to promote growth in feedlot cattle, but can be a challenge without the right equipment. Micro Technologies has developed a suite of feeding technologies to make the process as seamless as possible. It’s weighing system measures and delivers micro nutrients into the cattle feed, while it’s batching system manages all of the macro ingredients. All of the feed data is collected into a software where it can then be reviewed and analyzed. To deliver the feed, Micro Technologies has a GPS enabled truck that tells the driver exactly which feed bunk to fill, with which ration, and at what time. 

Crop Quest

Crop Quest has set out to solve one of the most monotonous and time consuming tasks on the feedlot: counting inventory. Instead of sending someone to ride through each pen and count every individual animal, Crop Quest uses a drone to fly above each pen and take a high resolution picture. The images are then used to count the inventory of cattle in each pen. All of the data is fed into a software program for clear photo records and transparent data for administrative purposes. Not only does the drone save hours of time, but it flies overhead without causing unnecessary disruptions and stress to the cattle. 


It is a challenge to locate a specific animal amongst a herd of hundreds. Nedap has developed eye glasses that clearly point out the exact animal you are looking for. The glasses display a small digital arrow, right before your eyes, that points you in the direction of the animal you are looking for. Rather than reading hundreds of ear tags just to find animal #189, you are guided directly to it. Once you’ve found the animal, you can use hand motions to pull up its health data and then make decisions right on the spot.