Research & Development
GrowSafe is the world's leader in providing advanced data systems to animal science research that enable unobstructed individual animal behavior measurement.
GrowSafe research systems precisely measure feed and water intake, animal weight and feeding behavior of individual animals feeding in a typical production environment.
GrowSafe technology provides a research framework to integrate data including genomic, proteomic, physiologic, and environmental in the context of a disease, with a focus on understanding and determining clinical responses to potential treatment.
GrowSafe Beef Research
The beef industry is under significant pressure from issues such as rising costs, animal disease, antimicrobial resistance, consumer perception about the safety of beef products, trade barriers and traceability requirements, and animal welfare. Each of these issues has the potential to structurally change the industry.
The usual means of assessing the health of beef cattle are subjective, involving visual evaluation aided by minimal clinical measurements. (Galyean). Animals are judged ill when they appear depressed, listless, or off feed (Speirs and Wrigley). A dilemma facing modern feedlots is how to detect animals that are in need of medical intervention (Sowell). Research has demonstrated declining carcass value between animals not treated and those treated once, twice and three times respectively. (Schneider). The value of rapid diagnosis and treatment of disease increases when cattle are sold on carcass merit basis because of the negative effects of disease on carcass traits. (Larson). Several epidemiological studies have indicated that even with increased pharmaceutical use, the incidence of morbidity and mortality in feedyards has increased. The effectiveness of antimicrobials in the treatment of BRD depends primarily on early recognition and treatment (Apley, Cusack). BRD manifests its economic losses cumulatively, through the cost of treatment, the cost of lost production, and death loss, emphasizing the importance of prevention and treatment as early as possible.
What GrowSafe is Researching
In addition to the economic value of a greatly enhanced rapid diagnostic method for the commercial feedyard, the method proposed by GrowSafe will enable animal health research to objectively measure how an animal responds to disease in the production environment on a commercially relevant scale.
Previous data collected by GSB systems on individual animals indicate significant opportunity for new management strategies. In general we have found that:
- Sick animals are identified by GSB by behavioural changes preceding clinical signs of illness by up to 4 days, often up to 24 hours in advance of body temperature change.
- Up to 30% of animals in a pen are identified as poor performers.
- Up to 30% of animals 'are above' average and performance is penalized when fed beyond optimum market date.
- Certain implant, feeding and management pen strategies are having detrimental effects on individual performance
- Growth of some of the population could be enhanced by alternative implant and finishing strategies
- There is significant opportunity to improve management of individual animals fed in pen environments
GrowSafe is collaborating with animal health entities to answer the research questions posed by these and other findings. We believe there are better and perhaps new ways to target existing products and perhaps opportunities for new product development.