Livestock Measurement


Laser sensors measure cow hip height from overhead

Acuity laser rangefinders have been adopted in the cattle industry. As a means of automating the measurements of growing cows in feedyards, a major beef technologies company from Texas decided to use non-contact measurement principles.

Historically, in determining how long to feed the cattle and when to market them, the feedyard manager subjectively evaluated an entire pen of cattle at a time. When a group or “lot” of cattle first arrived at the feedyard, the manager went out to their pen and looked at or “eyeballed” those cattle and made a guess at how long he should feed them. Today, using the AR4000-LV laser rangefinder or the AR1000 distance measurement sensor, the feedmanager can collect metrics for each cow by measuring "hip height", a major indicator for the size of the cow.

The engineers position the AR4000-LV laser rangefinder from the ceiling supports and aim the laser spot down to the floor. The sensor is "zeroed" and when a cow passes underneath the laser sensor, the system captures the distance to the top of the cow's back (hip height).

cattle ranchers measure hip height with laser sensors

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