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Reduced the annual total loss of stolen cattle

“Since fitting our cattle herds with FarmRanger collars four years ago we have reduced the number of cattle stolen,” says Karen Hiemstra of the well-known Zwakwater Red Brahman Stud located 50 km outside Lydenburg.

Hiemstra explains that stock theft has increased significantly since the opening of chrome mines in their district.

“Stock theft incidents have increased exponentially with the influx of people to the mines. We lost 86 cattle over a two year period,” she says.

The Hiemstra’s then approached FarmRanger for a solution. “Our herds are relatively small as we farm only with stud animals. We currently have eight active FarmRanger collars and use one of these plus a dummy collar with each herd of 50 cows or 35 calves.”

“The system works wonderfully and we have lost only one bull, not fitted with a FarmRanger collar, since installing the system.”

Some of the features on the FarmRanger app that Hiemstra finds useful includes being able to adjust the collars to sensitive mode each day at 18:00 until 06:00 the next morning. A location report is also generated each night at 20:00 allowing her to see where each herd beds down for the night.

“When the alarm on our cell phones is activated, we use the extended tracking facility to track the movement of that particular herd for the next 10 minutes. By monitoring their movement we can determine whether it is simply the cattle romping around or if it is a serious incident requiring further investigation,” explains Hiemstra.

“It is easy to make the distinction. When the cattle are being driven, a long red line indicating their direction of travel is shown on a Google Earth map. It also shows attempts made by the cattle to turn back to a known place where they feel safe. As soon as we see this pattern, we go out to their location to prevent any losses.”

Hiemstra recommends FarmRanger to all stock farmers. “It is an excellent product that is backed by a professional and helpful after-sales service team.”

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