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Comparing EID stick readers: Six of the leading models on the market

There are a variety of different solutions available for reading EID tags. Hannah Noble looks at six of the leading models of stick readers on the market.

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There are a variety of EID solutions
There are a variety of EID solutions
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Confused by what's available? EID stick readers compared...

WITH the intention of moving towards individual movement recording of sheep for improved traceability, since 2009 all sheep, not intended for slaughter under 12 months of age, must be electronically tagged.

 

Electronic identification (EID) tags provide a unique animal identification code making it easier to trace an animal through the system. The identification chips for sheep and cattle can be contained within an ear tag, bolus or pastern tag (leg band).

 

Not all farmers are currently required to have the equipment to read their EID tags, however it provides an opportunity to improve record keeping and traceability within their flock.

 

In order to suit every type of sheep system, there are a variety of different solutions for reading EID tags, including stick readers, handheld readers, static reader and weigh scales.

Many readers allow for the recording of births, deaths, dates of birth, parentage, weights, sex, movements, medical treatments and withdrawal periods, comments and groups. Some have predefined categories and some allow for manual categories.

 

Hand held readers scan EID tags using an antenna and are usually equipped with a full keyboard to allow for management information to be added on location.

Static readers are ideal for use on sheep handling races, sheep weigh crates or on mobile handling systems and provide the benefit of hands-free recording. However they require the installation of a reader and an antenna to allow for information to be transmitted wirelessly to a computer or mobile device.

 

Many weigh scales, especially cattle scales, can be bought with a reader or be retrospectively equipped with a reader which scans the tag and records the weight of each animal through the scales. The benefit of this is that daily live weight gain can be accurately and easily recorded.

 

Stick readers are designed for quick and easy EID tag reading, they can be used in conjunction with mobile apps or computer software and many are supplied with their own specific software.

DATAMARS AIRSTICK

DATAMARS AIRSTICK

Weight: 950g

 

Length: 75cm

 

Battery Life: 8 hours of constant use

 

Battery type: 2 rechargeable lithium ion batteries

 

Connectivity: Bluetooth and USB

 

Is there a mobile app? No, but it can be paired with mobile phone using Bluetooth.

 

Android or Apple iOS? N/A

 

Read range: 31-38cm depending on tag type

 

Memory: 4GB (over 1 million records)

 

Display size: 2.7inch colour display

 

Waterproof? Yes, IP67 rated.

 

What can you record? Basic animal data such as date of birth

 

Tag compatibility: FDX-B and HDX tags

 

Alerts: LED lights, vibration and audio alerts available.

 

Special features: Search function to recall data

 

Price: £549 + VAT

ALLFLEX RS420

ALLFLEX RS420

Weight: long reader, 830g; short reader, 810g

 

Length: 67 cm or 53 cm

 

Battery Life: 8-10 hours continuous read

 

Battery type: rechargeable lithium Ion battery

 

Connectivity: Bluetooth and USB

 

Is there a mobile app? Yes

 

Android or Apple iOS? Apple iOS

 

Read range: up to 30cm depending on tag type

 

Memory: up to 100,000 records

 

Display size: 128 x 128 pixel backlit display

 

Waterproof? Yes, IP67 rated

 

What can you record? Up to ten categories from a pre-set list including weights, scan results and breeding information

 

Tag compatibility: FDX-B and HDX tags.

 

Alerts: LED lights, vibrations and sound.

 

Special features: Drafting feature from a pre-uploaded list with red and green LED lights.

 

Price: £620 + VAT

TRU-TEST XRS2

TRU-TEST XRS2

Weight: 770g

 

Length: 65cm

 

Battery Life: 9.5 hours of continuous use.

 

Battery type: Internal rechargeable battery

 

Connectivity: Bluetooth

 

Is there a mobile app? Yes

 

Android or Apple iOS? Both

 

Read range: 33-35cm depending on tag type.

 

Memory: up to 1 million records.

 

Display size: 2.7inch colour screen

 

Waterproof? Yes, IP67 rated.

 

What can you record? Up to 15 custom fields.

 

Tag compatibility: NAIT, ISO HDX and FDX-B

 

Alerts: Vibration

 

Special features: sunlight viewable screen, all fields are customisable, full texting style keyboard.

 

Price: £799 + VAT

AGRIDENT BY ALLFLEX AWR300

AGRIDENT BY ALLFLEX AWR300

Weight: 720g

 

Length: 65cm

 

Battery Life: 12 hours of constant use

 

Battery type: Lithium Ion rechargeable battery.

 

Connectivity: USB, Bluetooth or WiFi

 

Is there a mobile app? Yes

 

Android or Apple iOS? Both

 

Read range: 30cm

 

Memory: 4GB (up to 1 million records including additional information)

 

Display size: 2.4 inch colour display with adjustable backlight.

 

Waterproof? Yes, IP67 rated.

 

What can you record? All

 

Tag compatibility: HDX and FDX-B

 

Alerts: LED lights, vibration and sound alerts are available.

 

Special features: Backlit screen to allow easy viewing in dim light.

 

Price: £687 + VAT

SHEARWELL DATA SDL440S

SHEARWELL DATA SDL440S

Weight: 600g (60cm version, most popular)

 

Length: 46.5cm, 60cm, 80cm

 

Battery Life: 8 hours plus of continuous use

 

Battery type: 4 rechargeable AA batteries are supplied with battery charger.

 

Connectivity: Bluetooth

 

Is there a mobile app? Yes

 

Android or Apple iOS? Both

 

Read range: up to 24cm

 

Memory: 16,000 tags

 

Display size: 6.5cm x 1.5cm

 

Waterproof? Yes.

 

What can you record? Births, deaths, movements, tag replacements, tag applications, treatments, comments, weights and management groups

 

Tag compatibility: Low frequency HDX and FDX

 

Alerts: Alerts appear in phone app.

 

Special features: Stick can be linked to mobile printer or PC, linked to phone app to record births, deaths, movements, tag replacements, tag applications, treatments, comments, weights and management groups

 

Price: £550 + VAT

GALLAGHER SMARTREADER HR5

GALLAGHER SMARTREADER HR5

Weight: 2.7kg

 

Length: 64cm

 

Battery Life: 8 hours continuous use.

 

Battery type: Internal rechargeable battery

 

Connectivity: Bluetooth and USB

 

Is there a mobile app? Yes

 

Android or Apple iOS? Both

 

Read range: 27 – 33 cm depending on tag type

 

Memory: 100,000 tags

 

Display size: 2.8 inch daylight viewable, backlit display.

 

Waterproof? IP67

 

What can you record? A variety of pre-set categories

 

Tag compatibility: HDX and FDX-B

 

Alerts: LED light, audio and vibration

 

Special features: Full texting style keyboard, allows for recording, editing and customisation of data.

 

Price: £1,440.83 + VAT

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