Pilot study to monitor body temperature of dairy cows with a rumen bolus

A.H. Ipema, D. Goense, P.H. Hogewerf, H.W.J. Houwers, H.I.J. Roest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


A bolus containing a mote (temperature sensor, processor and radio) was placed in the rumen of a fistulated cow to monitor body temperature. Rumen temperature was measured every minute and stored in the internal buffer of the mote. The measured temperature was also transmitted to a base station by the mote every minute. A relay mote mounted on the cows' left front leg assisted transmission of the information from rumen to the base station. Cow behaviour affected the success rate of data transmission. The base station received more than 50% of the transmitted data when the cow was standing. Success rate was lower than 40% when the cow was lying down. Rumen temperature varied diurnally with night-time temperatures higher than day-time temperatures. Drinking events resulted in distinct decreases of the rumen temperature. It is concluded that for the application of internal sensor motes wireless communication through the body and living environment of the animal works but improvements are possible. Research should also focus on the interpretation of sensor data on mote level for optimizing data recording frequency and transmission of data to dairy management practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-52
JournalComputers and Electronics in Agriculture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • cattle
  • time


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