Hoof Inspector is a thermal imaging system for the continuous and contact-free monitoring of hoof health in cattle. The principle of the system is based on the contact-free temperature measurement of the surface of the hoof and also on the hooves during normal walking of cattle, horses and other farm animals. For example, in cattle, inflammatory disease is reflected by a noticeable increase of surface temperature in the nearby surroundings of the hoof, even before other external indications are evident and before, for example, lameness or other more serious health problems develop.
The system is designed so as not to interfere with the normal operation of the stable and breeding. The monitoring is conducted in a contact-free manner at a sufficient distance and, in higher versions of the system, also completely unattended, but always with the normal walking of the animal within its daily regime, i.e. when returning from a milking station, etc.
Whereas the basic version of the system enables simple monitoring and requires immediate evaluation of the health status with the help of the operator, higher versions of the system enable to create individual records in the database and in the case of wireless identification of individual parts of animals, also monitor the development of the health status of individual parts in time, including the possibility of annotation, assignment of the seriousness of the disease, etc. It is then possible to evaluate the health status of individual animals from the records taken at any time. It is also possible to monitor the time development of the disease and evaluate selected statistics for both the stated part as well as the whole monitored breeding.
The system can be equipped with one to four contact-free thermovision sensors depending on how many monitoring locations are economically efficient. The system contains a sufficient level of protection, which corresponds to the demanding nature of the operation and the intensity of the application in the field of intensified livestock production.
The usual operation of the system is maintenance-free and only requires calibration, which is recommended to be performed once every two years.