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Frequently asked questions

What does an eBolus do and do I need one?

The eBolus is used to validate and control risks when changing diets in high yielding dairy cows. When properly used, the data from the bolus can be used to optimise feeds and increase the milk yield & farm profits.

It measures pH and temperature levels in the rumen and then displays the information in a graph to give you an accurate depiction of how well your cows are being managed. If you suspect your cows could be at risk of SARA or are looking at doing research into digestion patterns of cattle then the eBolus could be perfect for you.

Does the ebolus ever come out of the cow?

Not usually. We’ve only three cases of a cow coughing up a bolus in well over 1000 administered. Our bolus is currently 150 g, 25 mm diameter and 135 mm long, the size of a large cow pill.

When ingested or placed in the rumen by fistula it moves to the reticulum. The bolus stands upright in the reticulum and is designed to be heavy enough to not be passed by the cow. It remains in the reticulum until slaughter or removed by hand from a fistulated cow.

How many cows should be monitored?

Monitoring 6% of a herd / feeding group with eBoluses provides statistically significant results for the entire group.

In order to get an average reading of the herd we suggest using the boluses in average early lactation cows, instead of using it to diagnose individual sickly cows.

How long does a bolus last?

Our pH and temperature boluses can be highly accurate for up to 150 days (5 months) in the rumen.

To continuously monitor your herd, you will need to reapply eBoluses to different animals every 90 days.

For a bolus in constant use, the battery is unlikely to be the limiting factor. Due to the inhospitable environment within the rumen the pH sensor readings become invalid after between 90 and 150 days of continuous use.

The time at which the battery runs out (4+ years) far exceeds the life of the pH sensor in the bolus, which is the limiting factor on the bolus lifespan.

Can the eBolus be used in calves?

Yes. Our guideline size is an animal over 80kg and with a maximum Body Condition score between 1 to 3.5.

Can the eBolus be used in beef cattle?

Yes! The constitution of beef cattle actually makes getting readings from the eBolus much easier. We therefore warranty our boluses for use in all cattle cows with a maximum Body Condition Score of between 1 to 3.5 and a minimum weight of 80kg.

How can I access the data?

The data is automatically sent from the bolus to the base station when the cow is in the base station’s proximity. You can access the data either directly from the base station via 

  • our encrypted USB pen;
  • a locally hosted webpage;
  • online via our secure AWS cloud platform.
How much data does an eBolus provide and store?

The bolus automatically takes a reading of pH and temperature every minute when it is above 32°C (in a cow). The bolus will store an average value of the pH and temperatures over a 15 minute period giving 96 readings per day.

Both boluses can store up to 2700 lines of data (28 days at 96 readings per day) before it starts overwriting the oldest information.

All the data is stored on the Base Station and in the cloud.

Do magnets interfere with the eBolus?

There have been no reports of magnets affecting the bolus or any of its results and we have never seen any problems in any tests we have undertaken.

Can the eBoluses be reused?

The eBoluses cannot be removed or reused, except for fistulated cows.

We also advise that you re-calibrate the bolus again before placing it back into the animal after a prolonged duration of being in storage.

We advise to not exceed the maximum duration of 4 weeks of keeping a bolus in storage after it has been removed and re-calibrated.

Can the eBolus be used in other animals?

We neither warrant nor encourage the use of the eBolus for use in other animals. They have been designed specifically with cattle in mind. However, it is theoretically possible to use the boluses in any ruminant animal with a reticulum. Despite this, we do not advise using the eBolus on any animals other than cattle that are within the guideline specifications and do not take any responsibility for any problems caused due to misuse.

Our guideline size is an animal over 80kg and with a maximum Body Condition score between 1 to 3.5.

The current length of the bolus means that it cannot be used in horses. It appears to get stuck at the thoracic inlet with it not being possible to advance the probe even with direct massaging of the oesophagus. Placing an eBolus in an animal that is not advised will void the product's warranty.

If you plan on using a bolus in an animal other than a cow, please contact us and we will try to advise further.

How long will delivery take?

Delivery time is dependent upon the size of your order, your location and our current orders.

All of our eBoluses are manufactured on demand due to the sensitivity of the pH sensor. The current lead time is 6-8 weeks.

We use DHL express air shipping - typically a few days to Europe & USA and 1-2 weeks to the rest of the world.

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