Aim: Dairy cattle health monitoring program becomes vital for detecting the febrile conditions to prevent the outbreak of the animal diseases as well as ensuring the fitness of the animals that are directly affecting the health of the consumers. The aim of this study was to validate real-time rectal temperature (RT) data of radio frequency based digital (RFD) thermometer with RT data of mercury bulb (MB) thermometer in dairy cattle.
Materials and Methods: Two experiments were conducted. In experiment I, six female Jersey crossbred cattle with a mean (±standard error of the mean) body weight of 534.83±13.90 kg at the age of 12±0.52 years were used to record RT for 2 h on empty stomach and 2 h after feeding at 0, 30, 60, 90, and 120 min using a RFD thermometer as well as a MB thermometer. In experiment II, six female Jersey crossbred cattle were further used to record RT for 2 h before exercise and 2 h after exercise at 0, 30, 60, 90, and 120 min. Two-way repeated measures analysis of variance with post hoc comparisons by Bonferroni test was done.
Results: Real-time RT data recorded by RFD thermometer as well as MB thermometer did not differ (p>0.05) before and after feeding/exercise. An increase (p<0.05) in RT after feeding/exercise in experimental crossbred cattle was recorded by both RFD thermometer and MB thermometer.
Conclusion: The results obtained in the present study suggest that the body temperature recordings from RFD thermometer would be acceptable and thus RFD thermometer could work well for monitoring real-time RT in cattle.
Keywords: cattle, exercise, feeding, radio frequency device, rectal temperature, thermometer.