Merck Animal Health Introduces SENSEHUB Dairy Youngstock Calf Monitoring Technology


Source: Merck Animal Health news release

Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside of the United States and Canada, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA (NYSE:MRK), today announced the introduction of SENSEHUB® Dairy Youngstock, the industry’s first monitoring technology for dairy calves from birth through the first 12 months of life.

New SENSEHUB Dairy Youngstock makes it easier for dairy producers to detect and locate calves and heifers that need attention. Proprietary, science-based algorithms constantly monitor animal behaviors through the special SENSEHUB monitoring ear tag. The technology identifies animals that exhibit behaviors that fall outside their individual norms, indicating they may need attention. The SENSEHUB monitoring ear tag incorporates a blinking LED light so workers can quickly and easily locate those animals and apply appropriate interventions. SENSEHUB Dairy Youngstock is easy to implement with support from the Merck Animal Health team.

“This technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we raise calves and heifers,” said Brandt Kreuscher, dairy business development manager, North America, Merck Animal Health. “For the first time, dairy producers can harness objective data to find calves that may need extra care and then provide early intervention to keep them on a path toward becoming healthy and productive cows.”

Research shows that calves diagnosed with bovine respiratory disease (BRD) are more than twice as likely to die or be removed from the herd before their first calving. Furthermore, heifers experiencing calfhood BRD have lower average daily gain and produce less milk during their first lactations.1

Calves have a natural tendency to hide symptoms of disease. SENSEHUB Dairy Youngstock helps to overcome this instinctive behavior by identifying potential signs of illness, often before symptoms are apparent to caregivers.

The new technology also allows dairy producers to use labor more efficiently.

“With SENSEHUB Dairy Youngstock, dairy workers can focus their valuable time and resources on the calves and heifers that need attention, leaving the others alone,” Kreuscher said. “The efficiency associated with the technology allows herd managers to adjust the workflow on their operation and more effectively utilize their best employees.”

The new monitoring technology has facilitated better calf health management at Diamond H Dairy of Chowchilla, California.

“With the SENSEHUB system, instead of looking at 800 calves, we can focus on the 30, 40 or 50 that are on the list every day,” says Travis Hooker at Diamond H Dairy. “Having this technology allows us to more closely manage every little piece of each calf’s life.”

SENSEHUB Dairy Youngstock is compatible with management systems involving nipple-fed calves housed in individual hutches from birth to weaning, and post-weaning calves housed in group pens from three to 12 months of age. Monitoring tags are attached as part of neonatal calf processing and begin generating actionable data within 27 hours.

Dairy producers should consult with their veterinarians for guidance on disease diagnosis and protocols for intervention. For more information about SENSEHUB Dairy Youngstock, visit