Methods of Remote, Continuous Temperature Detection in Beef Cattle

J.D. Davis, E.S. Vanzant, J.L. Purswell, A.R. Green, J.R. Bicudo, R.S. Gates, L.E. Holloway, W.T. Smith

Research output: Other contributionpeer-review


Beef cattle core body temperature (CBT) was remotely and continuously measured over three ambient conditions (Period 1 at 30 °C, Period 2 at 20 °C, and Period 3 at 15 °C) at three sites: rectum, near the tympanic membrane, and peritoneal cavity. Ear surface measurements were taken under the same conditions with a temperature sensor placed on the ventral ear surface and were compared to the CBT measurements. Visual observation of the temperature measurements illustrated similar trends in the ear surface temperature and CBT measurements over time. A differencing method was used create a Temperature Index to detect the onset of fever in cattle. The use of the Index as a threshold showed promise. The animals’ baseline temperatures (Periods 1, 2 and 3) did not intersect this threshold until fever was present. A different threshold value was determined for rectal vs. ear surface temperatures. While promising, this system of detection needs improvements in hardware reliability and convenience before it can be implemented into a production setting.
Original languageAmerican English
Place of PublicationSt. Joseph, MI
StatePublished - 2003


  • Animal health and welfare
  • body temperature
  • cattle
  • fever
  • monitoring
  • thermoregulation


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