Progress Report: A Water Fountain Orientated Cattle Monitoring System

  • Garland Dahlke (Iowa State University)
  • R. Brantley Ivey (Iowa State University)
  • W. Darrell Busby (Iowa State University)
  • Dallas L. Maxwell (Iowa State University)
  • Shawn Shouse (Iowa State University)
  • Charles Ingle (I.D.ology)


An automated system for collecting in-pen drinking activity and weight gain was developed for group fed cattle using off-the-shelf radio frequency (RF) tags, RF readers, a ball-water fountain, floor scale and a wireless communications bridge. These items were coordinated using a custom software application and technical assistance provided by I.D.ology of Eau Claire, WI for the purpose of continually measuring in-pen weight gain and drinking behavior. These points of data collection then could be used to monitor animal health and development with minimal animal handling. This system has been installed at the Iowa State University – Armstrong research facility located near Lewis, Iowa. Initial data collection started in late fall 2007.

Keywords: ASL R2282

How to Cite:

Dahlke, G., Ivey, R. B., Busby, W. D., Maxwell, D. L., Shouse, S. & Ingle, C., (2008) “Progress Report: A Water Fountain Orientated Cattle Monitoring System”, Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 5(1). doi:

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Published on
01 Jan 2008
Peer Reviewed