Welcome to eCow

Electronic Cow Management

The world’s best rumen pH bolus

Our rumen bolus measures pH and temperature every minute of every day, accurately, for up to 5 months. Interested?

 If you want a bolus for research in bovine nutrition check out our science pages if you want to use our Vetpack to detect SARA in commercial cattle there is plenty of examples of the unexpected results we get on farm. We now see SARA as caused by management issues rather than yield level.

Here is some evidence from one of our customers showing the long accurate operational life of our bolus.

Drift demonstration for website

Because our system is very accurate you can detect SARA and other conditions and you can even observe when drift  starts.

You can see here the higher mean pH and smaller daily range in a good diet and the less stable wider range of pH under acidogenic conditions.

The above graph shows data from a trial by one of our research customers. In the final period a narrowing of the pH range followed by a steep incline towards pH 7 can be observed. This is pH sensor drift caused by rumen fluid diffusing into the sensor and poisoning the reference electrode. We would advise that 150 days is the maximum length of time to trust the data when the bolus has not been retrieved and recalibrated (only possible in fistulated/cannulated cattle). For more information on drift in eCow boluses please see this news post.

Some companies include algorithms that attempt to compensate for this drift, but until the drift is rigorously characterised these algorithms will only serve to further complicate the data received. What you get from the eCow bolus is the raw data without any “drift compensation”. As drift is non-linear it is impossible to write compensating software, it is best to analyse this by eye and exclude compromised data.

A recent study from the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Slovak Republic shows the capabilities of the eCow bolus. Continuous reticuloruminal pH data over a period of 45 days were collected from 7 Holstein dairy cows, allowing for in-depth analysis of pH variations. Find the study here. The graph below shows the daily average courses of reticuloruminal pH for the 7 cows used. Slovak Study Daily Graph      Using the bespoke eCow software HathorHBClient v. 1.8.1 they were able to easily access and convert the raw data for evaluation with IBM SPSS v. 20.0 (One-way ANNOVA).

Studies such as this are invaluable to the dairy industry, helping to further quantify variations in ruminal activity and how these are affected by management conditions.


Mathieu Silberberg
Mathieu Silberberg INRA, France
Our trials have used eCow boluses for some time now and we’ve been impressed by their longevity, stability and data quality. We have had repeated orders with eCow and will continue to do so.
Richard Vecqueray, Director,
Richard Vecqueray, Director, Evidence Based Veterinary Consultancy
eCow boluses have provided us with reliable rumen pH data that has allowed us to review diet, conditions and husbandry techniques with farmers. This has led to improved yield, better diagnosis of SARA and improvements in animal husbandry at some of the highest yielding herds we manage.
Tom Dibble
Tom Dibble Halberton, Devon
By tracking rumen pH response to ration changes, we have been able to safely increase the level of caustic wheat in the diet from 3kg to 7kg a cow a day and increase yields from 34 to 37 litres per cow per day. To hear more about how Tom improved yields using eCow boluses listen to him speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today program