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Readability of Thirteen Different Radio Frequency Identification Ear Tags by Three Different Multi-Panel Reader Systems for Use in Beef Cattle

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The objectives of these experiments were to compare the readability of 13 different commercially available brands of radio frequency identification (RFID) ear tags scanned by 3 different multi-antenna RFID panel readers using Angus heifers. The readability of the tags and flow rates of the heifers were measured through either of the following: 1) an Allflex Single-Lane Multi-Panel Reader (SINGLE), 2) an Allflex Dual-Lane Multi-Panel Reader (DUAL), or 3) a Boontech Alley Master Multi-Panel Multi-Animal Alley Reader (MULTIPLE). Three of the RFID tag brands compared were half-duplex (HDX) technology manufactured by Allflex, Dalton, or Leader. The remaining 10 RFID brands were full-duplex (FDX) technology manufactured by Allflex, Animal Profiling Inc., Dalton, Digital Angel (Destron), Leader, Verilogic, Y-Tex, or Z-Tag. A total of 5,570 observations were collected through the SINGLE system, 3,280 through the DUAL system, and 3,280 through the MULTIPLE system. Because of the differing alley dimensions, cattle moved through the 3 systems at different (P 0.10) for the SINGLE (99.4%), DUAL (99.5%) or MULTIPLE (99.7%) systems. All flow rates met the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) standards (1 m/s) and readers met USDA 95% readability standards. Results indicate that it was possible to achieve read rates that follow standards proposed by the NAIS. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

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