Fitbit for Cows to Debut at National Western Stock Show
A famous Texas cow will be wearing a tag (type of bovine fitbit) at the show, but more importantly for the future, if a rancher is standing in a field, he or she simply taps the icon on the cellphone that reflects the numbered tag of the cow being monitored, and information on that cow appears. New algorithms are being developed almost weekly, including those that will measure how often a cow is eating, chewing and swallowing, or ruminating as they say in the ag world.
What? Your Cow Doesn't Have a Wearable Device!?
I don't even know a close friend who wears a Fitbit--the folks I hang around with are only "a bit fit." But apparently fitness monitors are getting popular, so I guess the bovine crowd needs to keep up with the trends. These links and observations should get you caught up with the basics of wearable tech for the cattle in your life.
According to Inside Science, researchers hope wearable fitness monitors can help keep herds of beef cows healthy. An epidemiologist at the University of Calgary in Canada is testing how accelerometers--the same devices inside fitness monitors that measure a person's activity level--can be used to detect disease in beef cattle before it becomes obvious to ranchers. The Moo Monitor tracks the activity and health of a cow--and it apparently keeps track of a cow's fertility and hormonal cycle, information that can be used to more effectively breed cows.
A Fitbit for Bossy?
So... we can get devices to keep track of the cow’s fertility and hormonal cycle—apparently this leads to a higher rate of successful pregnancies. A bit invasive but helpful, no doubt.
We only had one milk cow on our farm, but the old Guernsey communicated just fine without tech. If she didn’t like the way I was squeezing out the milk, she swung a mud and manure tinged tail at my head while I sat milking on the three-legged stool.
No way I would have ever pried into details about her sex life.
by dan gogerty (top pic from satirewire.com)