Tracking the Health of a Goat Herd with RFID

In a world of technology designed for cows, what's a goat farmer to do?

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As a goat farmer, Cory Spencer had a problem - most technology for dairy farmers in North America is designed for cows, not goats. This meant that what was commercially available was either unusable for his needs, or cost-prohibitive.

Image credit: Haltwhistle Cheese

So, as any good SparkFun customer would do, Cory decided to build something to fit his needs.

“I’m developing an RFID-based feeder that will dispense a predefined amount of grain to each goat at various points during the day,” Cory said. “There will be a stall set up that the goats can voluntarily enter, at which point an RFID reader will scan a unique RFID tag associated with each goat, and a Raspberry Pi will check to determine if the goat is eligible to have grain dispensed. If so, an auger attached to a motor will be activated, dispensing a preset amount of grain.”

But his inventiveness doesn't stop there. Cory plans to expand his creation in to a herd health monitor. Learn more about his project and plans for the future:

Comments 1 comment

  • Member #134773 / about 4 years ago / 1

    The computer can also accurately keep track of trends -- I know from experience in other fields that being able to examine some historical data on an individual can be quite instructive. Also, it can get data for the herd as a whole.

    One thing I'm a bit surprised at is that Cory didn't mention is weighing the individual goats. I'd be inclined to think that would also be useful info. (My doctors sure seem to like to weigh me every chance they get!)

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