New ‘MooMonitor’ activity tracker is to map out the health of cattle

KoeAn increasing number of people can be seen wearing them. There are also variants for dogs, and even shepherds are using the technology. And for those who are still not tired of this trend, there’s a “moo” activity tracker: the MooMonitor by Dairymaster.

The British outfit Dairymaster is not a hip start-up from London’s Silicon Roundabout. The company is based in the countryside of Kerry and currently employs a staff of 300.

Dairymaster is certainly not a new company. In the past few years, it has successfully exported products such as a smart feeding system and innovative ear tags for cattle. This is perhaps what makes their latest product all the more striking.

The MooMonitor is a wearable for cows designed to make the lives of cattle breeders easier by optimizing the monitoring of, and care for their herd. In an unconventional way, of course.

The challenge was how to monitor the behavior of every cow in a herd day and night. The solution was wearable technology. What we figured out was that it would be possible to include accelerometers, mobile and WIFI components, a decent bit of computing power and the software to run on it and could result in a single piece of technology that each cow could wear, that’s the MooMonitor. What it does from a practical point of view is measure friskiness.

Like any other activity tracker, the device measures movement. The movements of a cow indicate to what extent it feels ready to procreate. For dairy farmers, pregnancies are important, as they make sure their cows keep producing milk.

moomonitor

However, the MooMonitor also plays an important role in the care for cattle. The data that farmers are presented with means they can optimize the cow feed, so that their cattle always receive the right amount of vitamins and minerals.

A happy cow is a generous cow. The knowledge that the MooMonitor supplies will also help farmers set better times for starting the milking process. This will result in a 2-minute gain per cow. Initial tests revealed a 5% increase in milk for MooMonitor cows.

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