Using modern day technology to monitor the movements of your herd

Recent years have seen a huge boom in technology. While I am an avid believer that technology is taking over the lives of the youth – I do believe it has its place.

I don’t know about all of you but I have struggled to keep up with the times as I often feel a bit overwhelmed with all this technology. At first, I was completely against the use of any tech equipment to help around the ranch but have since seen the light.

Keeping track of large bloodstock on a ranch that is over 3000 acres big can prove to be problematic. Previously we ensured that all our paddocks were split into 30 acres but with growth came change. The cost of maintaining fencing and setting up these “smaller” paddocks became astronomical. Trying to maintain rotational grazing when you have over 200 horses is enough to do your nut in. Add a wet season and you have a problem. Separating broodmares from the yearlings and stallions is also quite time-consuming.

Solution? We have kitted out our ranch with night vision gear and trail cameras. The trail cameras are easy to mount on the fencing and trees and the Nightgear is used when doing a patrol/checking on stock when there is an issue. Most of our mares who are due to foal are brought in and kept close to our homestead but the rest are turned out. We have a young colt herd and a “Bachelors” herd. Unfortunately a few years back we had an incident where one of the camps were trashed (a tree collapsed) and flattened the fence line between two camps. We used to keep a stallion with a couple of mares as we felt this was more natural. Although a freak accident, it allowed two stallions from different herds to come in contact. Unfortunately, we discovered this too late and had to euthanize one of the stallions as he received a bad kick to his stifle rendering him permanently lame.

It is an accident that shouldn’t have happened that left me gutted.

The trail cameras can be accessed remotely/wirelessly so we can check on them just about any time. Obviously, we have to set up a couple of them per paddock but it is far easier to install them than it is to move around the stock. As they are set up in grids I can keep track of their movements and locate their position. It has made viewings easier as well.

This is just a small step towards the implementation of tech on our ranch. It takes this pops a while to warm up to change but I am looking forward to implementing more items and becoming more tech savvy.

The use of technology might not be for everyone. To a degree, it does rob us from the valuables the ranch has to offer but to be honest, this pops has limited time and if there is one thing this has save – It is time.

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