Support & Advice

smaXtec Help Center

Software

smaXtec system SX.2

smaXtec system SX.1

smaXtec Boluses

General Information

For SX.1 boluses, this date is the expiration date. The bolus should be activated by this date.

Can smaXtec Classic/pH Plus Boli be used for other animals?

No, smaXtec Classic/pH Plus Boli are to be used exclusively for cattle.
In several years of use, no cases of impairment have been reported. The German Agricultural Society (Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft – DLG) tested the resistance of the boluses to rumen fluid; and the US Food and Drug Administration approved the boluses after detailed examination.
No, the smaXtec Classic Bolus/pH Plus Bolus remains in the reticulum and cannot be taken out.
Usually, it takes about 24 hours until the bolus arrives in its final position in the reticulum. In rare cases, it can take up to 10 days. The bolus then remains in the same position due to its own weight.
The minimum body weight for bolus application for both boluses is 450 kg when administered by trained staff (approximately 18 months for Holstein cows) and 300 kg when administered under veterinary supervision. The limiting factor is the diameter of the oesophagus.
Boluses are administered just as other types of boluses using a bolus applicator. We recommend using the smaXtec bolus applicator.
All smaXtec SX.1 boluses have an internal memory, in which the data is saved for upto 50 days. The data cannot be lost within this period. After the 50-day period, new data will replace the oldest data.
No, the battery in the boluses cannot be changed.

Classic Bolus SX.1

We do not recommend reusing smaXtec Classic Bolus in other animal for reasons of biosecurity. Furthermore, the boluses are not designed for repeated use. If you administer a bolus to another animal we cannot assume any guarantee for correct measurement because of the mechanical influences and change of medium (rumen/air/rumen). This is also applies for cows with rumen fistulas.

How soon after initialisation does the smaXtec Classic Bolus have to be administered to the animal?

The smaXtec Classic Bolus should be administered within the next few hours.
The smaXtec Classic Bolus SX.1 can save data in its internal memory for 50 days. As soon as measured data is read out by one of the read-out devices (smaXtec Base Station or Repeater), the internal storage is available again.
The battery lifetime of the smaXtec Classic Bolus SX.1 is up to 4 years. During this period of time, both parameters (temperature and activity) are measured continuously.

pH Plus Bolus SX.1

The shelf life from date of manufacture is 18 months.

Can smaXtec pH Plus Boluses be initialised first and administered at a later point in time?

Yes, but make sure the smaXtec pH Plus Boluses are kept in pH7 buffer solution until administration. You should administer them within 4 hours.
We do not recommend reusing smaXtec pH Plus Boluses in other animal for reasons of biosecurity. Furthermore, the boluses are not designed for repeated use. If you administer a bolus to another animal we cannot assume any guarantee for correct measurement because of the mechanical influences and change of medium (rumen/air/rumen). This is also applies for cows with rumen fistulas.
We recommend using the smaXtec pH Plus Bolus in 6-10% of the herd. The other animals receive the smaXtec Classic Boli for monitoring of calving & heat detection and individual health status.

smaXtec Infrastructure

General information

One smaXtec Base Station is needed for every 300 boluses. The ideal number of smaXtec Repeaters depends on the size and conditions in the barn and is ascertained by the local sales partner.
The smaXtec Base Station is the only device that requires a permanent internet connection.
We are not aware of any problems in connection with other devices. As we comply with all legal standards and regulations it is highly unlikely that interference problems will occur. There are no interference problems with magnets.
No, the Infrastructure for the Classic and pH Plus solution comprises the same devices. You can easily upgrade from smaXtec Classic to smaXtec pH Plus at any time.

Base Station SX.1

Does the smaXtec Base Station SX.1 need Internet connection?

Yes, a permanent connection to the internet is needed. It can either be established via GSM (included SIM-card) or via a local router using an Ethernet cable.
The network installation must be carried out in accordance with local standards and regulations. Please use a waterproof Ethernet cable to prevent damage to the smaXtec Base Station. You can purchase waterproof Ethernet cables at smaXtec.

Repeater SX.1

No, smaXtec Repeaters do not need to be connected to the Internet. They transmit the measured data to the smaXtec Base Station (optionally via other Repeaters to cover larger distances).

smaXtec System

General information

No. As smaXtec SX.2 comprises of a completely revised hardware and technology, the two systems are not compatible. If you are currently using smaXtec SX.1, get in touch with us to receive an attractive upgrade offer.

Does the system detect estrus in a tie-stall barn?

As we detect estrus based on changes in the activity of cows we cannot guarantee a reliable estrus detection due to reduced activity levels in tie stall barns. All other functions (calving detection, early detection of diseases, monitoring of drinking behavior, heat stress detection and pH measurement) work without any problems in tie-stall barns.
In our publication list you’ll find recent scientific studies and projects where smaXtec products have been used.

smaXtec Boluses

Classic Bolus SX.2

The date on the Classic Bolus SX.2 indicates the production date.

Can I reuse the smaXtec Classic Bolus during its measurement cycle in another animal?

We do not recommend reusing smaXtec Classic Boluses in other animal for reasons of biosecurity. Furthermore, the boluses are not designed for repeated use. If you administer a bolus to another animal we cannot assume any guarantee for correct measurement because of the mechanical influences and change of medium (rumen/air/rumen).
The smaXtec Classic Bolus should be administered within the next few hours. The administration has to take place the same day.
The smaXtec Classic Bolus SX.2 can save data for 6 days on its internal memory. After six days, the oldest data will be replaced by new data.
The battery lifetime of the smaXtec Classic Bolus SX.2 is approx. 5 years (depending on farm layout, country regulations, obstructions and surroundings). During this period of time, all three parameters (temperature, rumination and activity) are measured continuously.
No, all smaXtec Boluses are to be used exclusively for cattle.
In several years of use, no cases of impairment have been reported. The German Agricultural Society (Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft – DLG) tested the resistance of the bolus to rumen fluid; and the US Food and Drug Administration approved the bolus after detailed examination.
No, the smaXtec Classic Bolus remains in the reticulum and cannot be taken out.
Usually, it takes about 24 hours until the bolus arrives in its final position in the reticulum. In rare cases, it can take up to 10 days. The bolus then remains in the same position due to its own weight.
The minimum body weight for bolus application for both boluses is 450 kg when administered by trained staff (approximately 18 months for Holstein cows) and 300 kg when administered under veterinary supervision. The limiting factor is the diameter of the oesophagus.
No, the bolus battery cannot be changed.

pH Plus Bolus SX.2

Can smaXtec pH Boluses be initialised first and administered at a later point in time?

Yes, but make sure the smaXtec pH Boluses are kept in pH7 buffer solution until administration. You should administer them within 4 hours.
No. We do not recommend reusing smaXtec pH Boluses in other animal for reasons of biosecurity. Furthermore, the boluses are not designed for repeated use. If you administer a bolus to another animal we cannot assume any guarantee for correct measurement because of the mechanical influences and change of medium (rumen/air/rumen). This is also applies for cows with rumen fistulas.
We recommend using the smaXtec pH Bolus in 6-10% of the herd. The other animals receive a smaXtec Classic Bolus for health monitoring as well as heat and calving detection.
The pH Bolus measures the pH value in the reticulum for a period of 150 days. The other data collected (inner body temperature, activity levels and rumination) are measured as with the Classic Bolus SX.2 over the entire lifetime of the bolus (approx. 5 years).

smaXtec Infrastructure

Base Station SX.2

Yes, a permanent connection to the internet is needed. It can either be established via the built-in SIM card or by connecting the Base Station to a local router.
Please inform your smaXtec consultant before installation how you want to establish the Internet connection. If no mobile network coverage is available at your barn, the Internet connection will be established via PoE cable. The Base Station SX.2 will be connected to a local router.
The number of required Base Stations SX.2 depends on barn size and conditions. The actual number will be determined with your consultant directly on the farm.
We are not aware of any problems in connection with other devices. As we comply with all legal standards and regulations it is highly unlikely that interference problems will occur. There are no interference problems with magnets.
The smaXtec Classic Bolus Bolus as well as the smaXtec Climate Sensor SX.2 are battery-powered and do not need external power supply. The smaXtec Base Station SX.2 has to be mounted close to a power socket.

Climate Sensor SX.2

The Climate Sensor measures ambient temperature and humidity and automatically calculates the THI (temperature-humidity index) for you. This value can be used to map the probability of heat stress. If the THI is increased, you will be notified and can immediately take measures to improve the climate in the barn.

There are various ways to calculate the THI depending on the field of application. At smaXtec, we use the following formula:
THI=(1.8×T+32)−[(0.55−0.0055×RH) ×(1.8×T−26)]
Here‘s the source of the used formula

The system generates the following heat stress alerts:
– THI ≥ 72: beginning heat stress
– THI ≥ 78: considerable heat stress
– THI ≥ 82: severe heat stress
Based on the literature-based formula we use to calculate THI, ambient temperature levels have a greater impact on THI than humidity levels. The reason for this is that higher ambient temperatures are a challenge for and can sometimes overwhelm the capacity of the cow’s thermoregulatory system.
Yes, the batteries can be changed independently. The Climate Sensors requires two batteries (size AA).

smaXtec System

General information

No. As smaXtec SX.2 comprises of a completely revised hardware and technology, the two systems are not compatible. If you are currently using smaXtec SX.1, get in touch with us to receive an attractive upgrade offer.

Does the system detect estrus in a tie-stall barn?

As we detect estrus based on changes in the activity of cows we cannot guarantee a reliable estrus detection due to reduced activity levels in tie stall barns. All other functions (calving detection, early detection of diseases, monitoring of drinking behavior, heat stress detection and pH measurement) work without any problems in tie-stall barns.
In our publication list you’ll find recent scientific studies and projects where smaXtec products have been used.

smaXtec Software

General information

Both the web software as well as the mobile app are updated on a regular basis. As the software is cloud-based, all users profit from ongoing improvements and developments.
You can access your data at any time and anywhere using the broswer-based web software smaXtec Messenger via messenger.smaxtec.com or the smaXtec App (available for iOS and Android).

Where are the events that lead to alerts calculated? Locally at farm level or via the cloud?

All measurement data is first transferred to our server where it is analysed. You can then use the smaXtec Messenger and the smaXtec App to access cow and herd data as well as alerts.
There are several reasons why the area in which rumination data is normally displayed doesn’t show data and is highlighted in red:
1. The bolus is currently not in the reticulum. The bolus measures rumination activity based on typical movements of the reticulum, therefore rumination activity is only measured when the bolus is located there. In certain cases, the bolus can be ejected from the reticulum and floats in the rumen freely. In this case, the bolus cannot measure the movement of the reticulum correctly. It can take up to 10 days for the bolus to be back in the right place – usually it is much faster. As soon as the bolus is back in place, rumination activity is displayed in the diagram again.
2. The bolus has only been administered recently. The bolus is still in the process of initialisation. Once the initialisation phase is complete, rumination data is displayed.
3. A technical problem has occurred. This prevents rumination data to be calculated.
4. In rare cases, the absence of rumination data, especially after an alert “reduction of rumination”, may also indicate a serious health problem. In this case, keep a close eye on the other health parameters such as inner body temperature in order to be able to intervene in the case of illness.

Alerts

Calving detection is activated 14 days before/after the expected calving date. The calving notifications can be sent up to 36 hours before calving. However, we found out during a scientific study that a large part of the alerts are sent 6 to 20 hours before calving.

Does the system detect estrus in a tie-stall barn?

As we detect estrus based on changes in the activity of cows we cannot guarantee a reliable estrus detection due to reduced activity levels in tie stall barns. All other functions (calving detection, early detection of diseases, monitoring of drinking behavior, heat stress detection and pH measurement) work without any problems in tie-stall barns.
After activating smaXtec boluses it takes at least 60 minutes until the first data are available in the smaXtec software.
The bolus has to be administered at least 8 days before the calving date.
All measurement data is first transferred to our server where it is analysed. Then, you can access your cow and herd data as well as alerts directly in the smaXtec Messenger and smaXtec App.

The insemination task list includes a visual insemination window enabling you to see the ideal insemination time at a glance. The insemination window comprises the following phases:

  1. Earliest insemination: As long as the ideal insemination time isn’t available yet, a grey field with the earliest possible insemination time is displayed.
  2. Start: As soon as the actual insemination window is available, a grey field with its starting time is displayed.

When the actual insemination window begins, the color of the field changes and information is shown as follows:

  1. Green: During the green phase, insemination is recommended (start of insemination window until 6 hours after the start).
  2. Yellow: During this phase, a successful insemination is already less probable. However, it could still be successful (6 to 10 hours after the beginning of the insemination window).
  3. Red: We do not recommend inseminating cows during this phase (10 to 12 hours after the start of the insemination window).

In phases 3 to 5, an arrow indicates which phase you are currently in. For a better overview, phases that are already over change color.

The insemination window is no longer displayed after 36h in the dashboard. You can always access past insemination windows in the message list.

The heat index is an additional value that can be displayed as a curve in cow diagrams. It takes into account all information smaXtec has about the heat of an animal and gives you a better insight into the length and extent of a heat.

You can access the heat index in the smaXtec App and the smaXtec Messenger by adjusting the parameters to be displayed.

The calving indicator is a separate line in the individual animal chart that shows the probability of calving and becomes more and more sensitive until the expected calving date. It is displayed from 14 days before the expected calving date and ends when calving is confirmed in the system.

The calving indicator makes it visible and comprehensible when a calving message is sent. By observing the calving index, you can monitor animals with a visible increase more closely even before the calving notification is sent.

smaXtec Boluses

Measurement data

How does the measurement of activity work?

Every movement of the animal is continuously recorded with an accelerometer. The recorded activity is summarised into one data point every 10 minutes. The measured activity thus includes movements such as walking or jumping up. The data points are automatically transferred and displayed in the smaXtec software. smaXtec does not provide any information on the standing or lying behaviour of the animals and does not count individual steps.
The activity measurement is available for the smaXtec system SX.1 and SX.2.
The temperature is measured by means of a temperature sensor and has a very high precision (± 0,01° C).
The measurement of the inner body temperature is available for the smaXtec system SX.1 and SX.2.
The normal temperature of the cow is calculated based on the last 5 days. This also means that the normal temperature can change for several reasons: Depending on the lactation phase and the outside temperature, the normal temperature of cows is higher or lower. In addition, the normal temperature can increase significantly during longer periods of temperature increases – a recovery of the animal is therefore often accompanied by “decrease in temperature” messages.
To make the individual temperature messages even more accurate, smaXtec also calculates the group temperature of the respective groups in the system. This means that high outdoor temperatures and temperature increases due to vaccinations or feed changes are also taken into account and are included in the messages.

You can access the corresponding diagrams both in the App and in Messenger under the menu item Groups. Due to the narrower scale (36 – 44° Celsius) and excluding the drinking cycles, even small temperature fluctuations are visible for you.

To use the group metrics, it is particularly important that each animal is assigned to a group and that these correspond to the actual groups in the barn. Furthermore, at least 70% of the animals in the group must be read out to calculate the group metric.
In the temperature curve, one can see the water intake behaviour of the animals. If an animal drinks (cold) water, it goes directly into the reticulum, where the bolus is positioned. The environment of the bolus is briefly cooled by the cold water, which results in a few (1-3) measurements being significantly lower (also lower than the body temperature). The temperature regulates itself within a few minutes. The measurements continue constantly and then show again the usual normal temperature in the rumen.
By monitoring the drinking behaviour can be concluded on the health of the animal and indirectly on the feed intake. Strong deviations indicate a change in the animal’s condition. Appropriate warnings are issued by the system. If several animals in the herd show a change in drinking behaviour, the drinking troughs themselves must be checked in addition to the health status.
The cow’s rumen is constantly in motion. Depending on what the cow is doing, the number of contracts in the reticulum differs: If the cow is eating or digesting, the reticulum contracts twice. When the cow is ruminating, a third contraction takes place, which transports the feed back into the mouth. Thanks to the measurement position in the reticulum, the bolus precisely detects how many times it contracts and thus knows whether the cow is currently ruminating.
The measurement of rumination is available exclusively for the smaXtec system SX.2.
The rumination activity provides valuable information on the health status of the animals and allows feeding to be monitored and optimised at the group level.
To gain an accurate insight into the feeding of the herd, to optimise it and to detect problems in feeding management, the targeted use of pH value measurement is recommended. The pH value provides direct conclusions about the feeding of the animals and, in contrast to the rumination activity, is not influenced by other factors such as individual health.
The pH values of the rumen and the reticulum are very closely related (i.e. correlate very strongly with each other). Since measurements are always taken at the same point in the reticulum, changes or deviations in pH can be attributed to management and ration.
Classic Bolus SX.1: The relative measurement accuracy is ± 0.05° C at 39° C.
Classic Bolus SX.2: Relative measurement accuracy is ± 0,01° C at 39° C.
The measurement accuracy is +/- 0.2 up to the 90th day and +/- 0.4 from the 90th to the 150th day.
Measuring inside the animal has several significant advantages: The device cannot be lost and there is also no risk of injury to the animal from the measuring device. In addition, the measurements are free from falsification, which can occur with externally mounted measuring devices due to external influences.

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