Traditionally, farming is a tough industry which needs a lot of manpower input. However, if modern technology is applied, farmers will save a lot trouble. Essex farmers may have such practical experience since there is a ranch in Essex, England has begun connecting its cows to the internet so the farmer can keep track of cows’ behavior changes that could signal disease.
How does it work?
The team behind the initiative, the Cow Tracking Project, attaches a GPS device to each cow, and places sensors around their shed to monitor their movements and sleeping habits. That information is then sent to the farmers via texts and emails in real time. Disruptions in a cow’s regular pattern (e.g. sleeping more or moving around less than usual) could signal illness, and the daily updates can help the farmer quickly catch these changes and locate the certain cow to make sure it has not become lame or picked up an infection.
Benefits for the farmers
The project can save farmers from having to put in extra working hours and spending money on antibiotics after infections have fully developed. For now, the cows are monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is the first time the technology has been used on a dairy herd in the UK. Also, we believe that with the help of clear live video recorded by the wireless IP Camera, Famers can know what happened in the shed and which cow needs special care even without going to the shed themselves. If this mode is duplicated, much time and labor will be saved and eventually change the way farmers look after their animals.
- VIDEO: The cows connected to the internet (bbc.co.uk)