On the surface, they may look like ordinary ear tags. But DoggTags from Wyoming-based HerdDogg pack lots of info into a small package.
“Having a tag that you can put on animals and send further out … it’s legitimate both for dairy and beef because of the distance of readability,” says Melissa Brandao, founder of HerdDogg, making them an appealing option for farmers and ranchers looking to improve their pastured herd management.
The company is rolling out the DoggTags — Dogg is an acronym for data generator gatherer — after several years in development and has been hitting up the show circuit, most recently at World Dairy Expo.
How far is readability? Up to 100 yards, Brandao says. The tags don’t look remarkable, save for their unique yellow color. They go on an animal using a standard tag applicator.
But the data in these tags is the real selling point. The tags are powered by Bluetooth and transmit data to the company’s HerdDogg Cloud Platform, which a producer can access on a smartphone or computer. Once on the app, a producer can access all kinds of information about their animals, including real-time location, behavioral insights and point-of-care treatment.
“When the animals are out doing their animal thing, grazing, laying, you can’t really get close enough to them to identify them well. And that problem became sort of an obsession of mine,” says Brandao, who worked on database management for Apple before the iPhone became a household name.
The company is marketing two types of ear tags: the TraceTag that costs $10 a tag can last up to five years, can be read from as far as 100 yards and is a straight replacement for RFID; and the WelfareTag that costs $15 a tag, lasts up to two years and has the same features as the TraceTag, but also comes with enhanced health monitoring to better detect estrus cycles.
[read the rest of this article on Farm Progress]