Best Drones For Checking Cattle [Top 3 To Buy In 2019]

Best Drones For Checking Cattle [Top 3 To Buy In 2019]

The use of drones for monitoring livestock is slowly gaining momentum in various countries. Australia and Israel have already started using lots of cattle monitoring drones. Those devices are used for various purposes from military tasks to agriculture surveillance. This article covers one of these aspects with an intention to present best drones for checking cattle. They have the power to simplify the farming work, and you can monitor all the activities of your livestock in a real-time, thanks to these devices.

According to my research, Top 3 best drones for checking cattle are Yuneec H520, DJI Inspire 2 and Parrot Bluegrass Fields.


TOP 3Yuneec H520DJi Inspire 2Parrot Bluegrass Fields
Pros +Selection of 3 cameras
+4K video at 60 fps
+Cartography features and predefined flight routes
+Very good flight behavior
+Thermal imaging
+Lightweight
+Extremely stable hovering
+Dual-operator mode
+4K video with 60 fps
+Simultaneous recording on MicroSD and SSD
+Super high-quality
+1 Year subscription for Pix4Dag
+3 batteries included
+GPS and Glonass
+Area coverage of 30 hectares in a single flight
+Parrot Sequoia multispectral sensor
+RGB camera
Cons -No team mode - can't use 2 operators to control the drone
-High price
-Weird battery level warning
-Battery performance can be improved -New drone on the market
Release year 2017 2016 2018
More info Review Review Review
Rating
Price
author josh hayden

Hi, my name is Josh Hayden and I am the head writer and editor on Drones-Pro website.

I bought my first drone in 2011 and my passion for flying has only grown from there. I love drones and enjoy reviewing them for you.

I live in Iowa, got 2 kids, loving wife and a dog.

A must have drone features for livestock management

Stability

First of all, you want a steady drone. Good news is that most of the newer high-end drones are heavy enough to offer steady and well-stabilized flying experience, even in moderately windy conditions. Drone gimbals are also so advanced nowadays that they allow drone operators to record super-stable and high-quality (up to 4k) video footage in tricky weather conditions.

When talking about taking your quad outside in different environments, feel free to read more about flying drones in winter from this article and flying drones at night in this blog post.

Thermal imaging

Secondly, I would suggest to get yourself a drone with a thermal imaging camera.

thermal imaging livestock monitoring

Thermal cameras on a quadcopter are different from near-infrared (NIR) cameras used for monitoring and crop scouting. NIR cameras capture light reflected by plants. Thermal cameras detect heat coming from almost all objects and materials turning them into visible picture and video. This makes them much more useful and advanced over NIR cameras. These cameras detect heat very precisely. It comes really handy, when searching for lost farm animals.


You can set a base temperature on a thermal camera to show only heat signatures above that level. Let’s say you want the drone to find sick cattle. A thermal camera will allow you to see a cow’s heat signature. If the animal has a lower or hotter body temperature than usual, the camera will recognize it. This can be quite a useful feature, especially during calving period. By understanding how heat signatures relate to animal behavior, the drone could find the cow and evaluate her health. The drone will recognize her symptoms and notify you if she is sick or about to calve.

Flight time

Another important feature is long flight time. As farms and fields are getting bigger and bigger, you want a drone with great battery life. I believe you would want your drone to fly as long as your need, not as long as your quadcopter’s battery dies.

When growing crops besides managing livestock, you would want an unmanned aerial vehicle that is even more advanced.
Crop field scanning requires compact multi-spectral imaging sensors, GPS map creation through onboard cameras and heavy payload transportation for spraying pesticides. You can read more about drones in agricultue from this article.

The best drones for checking cattle and other livestock

Here is our Top 3 choice of drones that are perfect for farmers.

Yuneec H520 + CGOET Bundle

Yuneec H520 + CGOET Bundle review
yuneec h520

The H520 is a hexacopter that has been developed for commercial use. It is a perfect solution for those who need long flight time and a proven and robust technology in an all-in-one package. The Yuneec H520 is built for law enforcement, security, construction, inspection, surveying. And of course for farmers who need to check their livestock and crops.

Pros


  • Selection of 3 cameras, Great picture quality
  • 4K video at 60 frames per second
  • Cartography features and predefined flight routes
  • Very good flight behavior, a long battery life of approx. 25 minutes
  • Thermal imaging and a low light camera with a 3-axis gimbal, capable of a continuous 360° rotation
  • Light weight

Cons

  • No team mode – can’t use 2 operators to control the drone
  • High price
  • Weird battery level warning – it will self-land at 25-30% battery.

Yuneec H520 overview

Yuneec H520 has sensors in front so that it stops automatically before any obstacle. This is really handy feature when flying near buildings or trees.

Capable of flying only with 5 motors when one of the 6 engines fails.

Foldable design

The principle of the H520 is the same as that of the Typhoon H: the 6 motor arms are foldable to reduce the size of the device during transport. The retractable landing gear is then in the low position. In this configuration, the H520 measures 27.7 x 35.3 x 25.5 cm.

Remote Control

The remote control of the H520 is packed with technology: The ST16S is based on Android and shows the live image of the drone camera in 720p-HD on the 7-inch touch screen. The so-called “DataPilot” is an app with which cartography missions can be carried out. The system can process maps from different providers and also use them offline.

It’s light!

One advantage of the H520 is the weight of the Yuneec H520: The take-off weight remains under two kilograms. It doesn’t matter which camera you have mounted. As a pilot of the H520 you are therefore not obliged to have a drone driver’s license.


Should you buy Yuneec H520 ?

The H520 is stable, responsive, its camera rotates 360°. It’s perfect and very attractive for lovers of beautiful aerial images… and yet it doesn’t offer any automated shooting sequences. You are in control of everything. And with a thermal imaging camera CGO ET, Yuneec has made one hell of a machine for farmers.

DJI Inspire 2 + Zenmuse Camera

dji inspire 2 with zenmuse x7 bundle review

The current DJI Inspire 2 is optically based on the earlier model but has been retreaded in almost all places. The new housing of the Inspire is made of magnesium and glows in a chic metallic grey. In combination with the latest aluminum components and revised carbon, the I2 is now even lighter than the previous Inspire model.

Pros

  • Extremely stable hovering
  • Dual-operator mode
  • 4K video with 60fps
  • Simultaneous recording on MicroSD and SSD
  • Super high-quality

Cons

  • Battery performance can be improved

DJI Inspire 2 overview

No other drone in this price segment offers a higher resolution and real raw. The resolution is ideal for professional productions, but at the same time, it makes high demands in costs. The full resolution can only be recorded if the license key for DNG Raw is purchased and recorded on a specially developed DJI SSD card with at least 512GB storage space.
Unfortunately, both the license key and the SSD card are, in my opinion, overpriced.
In addition, you need a decent computer in post-production to master the huge amounts of data.

Bugs and handling make life difficult. For example, if one battery is fully charged and the other is only 70% charged, the DJI Inspire 2 can’t take off. Both batteries must be on a similar level, which can be extremely problematic in practice.


Dual recording on two cards and in two formats.

Simultaneous recording on MicroSD and SSD offers many advantages. And not only when it comes to 5.2K. The second slot is also useful as a backup or for recording in another format. Data breakdowns are thus effectively avoided. Of course, it is also possible to record only on a MicroSD card in 4K.

Speed and precision at a new level

Pilots of the new DJI Inspire 2 can finally benefit from the new sensors. The improved VPS (“Vision Positioning System”) ensures precise movements over ground, an extremely stable hovering behaviour and generally increases flight safety and operating comfort. The Obstacle Avoidance System (“Anti Collision System”) also ensures safe operation during forward flight and climb. Those who fly in dual operator mode will not miss side or back sensors, as the camera can be operated by the operator while the pilot is flying straight ahead.

The battery performance is disappointing

In every aspect, the batteries are a problem area of the new DJI Inspire 2. They are expensive. At the moment they cost almost 200€ per unit. The flight duration can be improved. Although you have to use two batteries, it only lasts slightly longer than its predecessor. Twenty minutes flight time is rarely achieved using the heavier and more professional X5S camera.

Should you buy DJI Inspire 2

Inspire 2 is perfect for farmers who need a drone for serious work. Whether you need a drone for checking cattle, sheep or other livestock, or even observing crops, Inspire 2 can do it all perfectly. Although the batteries are a little disappointing, DJI has done an excellent job developing the drone. I2 has been on the market for three years now, and it has proved itself to satisfy thousands of owners. DJI offers fantastic support, and you will not be alone when you need help with your new high-end drone.

Parrot Bluegrass Fields

parrot bluegrass fields review

The new Parrot Bluegrass Fields is the debut of a companion drone specially developed for agriculture. The Quadrocopter is designed to help farmers improve profitability. Thanks to a FullHD front camera and the Parrot Sequoia multispectral sensor, it is possible to analyse the health status of the crop. Based on the different data, farmers can assess the vital condition of the plants and react accordingly.

Pros


  • 1 Year subscription for Pix4Dag
  • 3 batteries included
  • GPS and Glonass
  • Area coverage of 30 hectares in a single flight
  • Parrot Sequoia multispectral sensor and a 14 MP front RGB camera

Cons

  • New drone on the market – possible lack of knowledge

Parrot Bluegrass Fields overview

The new Parrot Bluegrass Fields is a quadrocopter shaped drone camera designed and developed specifically for agricultural use. The propellers of the Parrot Bluegrass Fields can be removed effortlessly within seconds to ensure fast and easy transport. The quadrocopter weighs 1,850 grams. According to Parrot, the battery life is up to 25 minutes thanks to the 6,700 mAh battery. GPS and Glonass, altimeters, ultrasonic sensors and the vertical camera with optical flow technology are of course on board.

Camera and flight time

Using the high-resolution front camera with 14 megapixel image resolution, farmers can inspect the infrastructure of the harvest as well as the land and livestock. Parrot Bluegrass Fields transmits videos recorded by the front camera to the controller, allowing the farmer to inspect his farm, monitor his herds and get an overall view of his lands. In a single flight, the Quadrocopter achieves a calculated area coverage of 30 hectares (300,000 square meters) at a flight altitude of 70 meters. The ground resolution at the same altitude is 6.6 centimeters per pixel. The video image is transmitted either in 360p or 720p to the smartphone in real time. The signal range of the Parrot Bluegrass Fields is up to two kilometres – provided that the environment is free of interference and obstacles. The Parrot SkyController 2 is used for control. The internal video memory has a capacity of 32 gigabytes.

Multispectral sensor for agricultural monitoring

Parrot Bluegrass is equipped with the Parrot Sequoia, a multispectral sensor. This small, lightweight multispectral camera captures 4 spectral bands within visible light and invisible infrared light to analyze the health of the crop. Parrot Sequoia has a 16 MP RGB camera and an internal memory with a capacity of 64 GB. The Sequoia module is also equipped with a sunshine sensor, which records the current light conditions on the one hand and GPS data and inertial data on the other. Using the Pix4Dag processing software and the AIRINOV FIRST+ cloud platform, the data can be used, for example, to map the field and monitor the crop. In this way, farmers can monitor the crop and, if necessary, take steps to optimise it.

Pix4Dcapture app

With the Pix4Dcapture app, automatic flights can be planned over the lands. The interface enables the exact determination of the area to be overflown as well as the height of the overflight, so that farmers have the possibility to follow the status of their flight directly. As a free assistant of the Pix4D software, Pix4Dcapture can be used to select various flight plans and capture image data that are used in the desktop software Pix4D to create georeferenced maps and models. The Pix4Dcapture app is available for both Android and iOS.

What’s in the box of Parrot Bluegrass

Delivery includes Parrot’s Bluegrass Fields, the Sequoia module, three batteries, a Parrot Skycontroller 2, a backpack, two chargers and six adapters, a microUSB cable, a quick guide as well as an annual license for the cloud mapping platform AIRINOV FIRST+ and a one-month subscription for Pix4Dag.

Agricultural drones buying guide

Performances of different drones might vary, and you have to pay attention to those details before buying. The established and well-known brands produce high-quality drones and offer warranties and money back guarantees.

Such a device often have a longer life cycle while providing a more efficient work. If it does not work properly and you are not satisfied with its work, you can always return it to a store taking your money back to you.

Buyer protection

The serious producers guarantee the maximal protection for your investment, and your money will be safe if anything goes wrong. High-quality drones usually have better abilities and features in comparison with those manufactured by unknown producers from third-world countries.

They are equipped with more powerful cameras providing excellent view and night vision that creates wonderful shots and videos. These drones often have great navigation systems offering more precise surveillance.

They can also fly faster, longer and farther than low-quality drones, which is one more advantage. The price, of course, plays an important role when it comes to this matter.

The production of high-quality products is not cheap, and it influences the final market price. But you get an excellent product that completes every mission with success. It achieves great results and provides a lot of benefits in the long run, something that a low-quality drone cannot offer.

Making the right buying decision

A few years ago, it was not very easy to find and buy a drone, and the world market was not completely familiar with these devices. However, the time changes everything, and you can now buy drones from various shops and stores online and offline depending on your needs and wishes.

For instance, you can find many sellers on Amazon and eBay that provide that type of products. They offer almost all kind of drones including these for agriculture surveillance, so you can choose the best type among many.

To avoid any potential misunderstanding, you should choose a reputable seller with an excellent rating and many positive reviews. Fortunately, it is not hard to find one, and you will most likely have luck if you take a look at these drones I covered in this article.

Conclusion

The high-quality and tested brand will protect your time and budget while providing you a durable and flawless drone. They work efficiently, and you do not have to lose precious time with errors, repairs, and replacements. That is the main reason why you should choose one of the best drones for checking cattle from this list. You will maybe pay a little more at first, but you will save a lot in the long run.

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