Livestock

Cows send a message

By Country News

Dairy researchers at the University of New Hampshire in the United States are more relaxed these days about monitoring pregnant cows: a sensor attached to their tails sends text alerts to help detect when they’re in labour.

‘Moocall’ measures tail movement patterns triggered by labour contractions.

On average, it alerts dairy managers by mobile phone and email about an hour before a cow gives birth.

Moocall was developed in Ireland and released commercially last year.

The company says the University of Kentucky also uses the technology.

Doctoral student Kayla Aragona said with about 70 calves born every year at the farm, it was a help.

But it’s not foolproof. One unhappy cow rubbed her tail up against everything and banged the sensor on the wall to try to get it to fall off, leading to false alarms.