Oh my! Cows with vaginal thermometers
It is the dream of every cattle farmer (or cow breeder) that they get the timing for insemination right.
Traditionally, farmers have had to depend on signs like mounting of other cows, mucus discharge, swelling and reddening of the vulva and bellowing accompanied with restlessness.
While frequent breeders have mastered these signs and have a high degree of making the right call at the right time, the likelihood of getting it wrong lingers at every turn.
Agricultural technology springs forth new methods that increase accuracy.
In Germany, Medira technologies and Deutsche Telecom developed a digital system that sends a text to a breeder’s phone informing him that a particular cow is on heat.
The cow is fitted with a digital vaginal thermometer.
The thermometer measures changes in body temperature over a period of time then alerts a farmer by text when a cow is on heat.
This technology takes away the need for a farmer to closely monitor their cow; allowing them more time to focus on other valuable activities.
By November last year over 5,000 German farms had signed up to be connected into the cow-on-heat system.