Cows can now text farmers when they're under the weather
By: Sean Dowling/Buzz60
Farmers across nearly two dozen countries are getting text messages from their cows.
Ok, it's not a typical text message, but the idea is the same.
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Dairy farmers are now using sensors in cows' stomachs to track health changes in the herd. It's all thanks to an Austrian startup company called SmaXtec.
After a wireless device the size of a hot dog is inserted into the cow's stomachs, farmers can tell when a cow is about to go into heat, and according to Bloomberg, they can predict with 95% accuracy when a cow will give birth.
According to a study by the University of Cambridge, the sensors also act as an early warning system to vets, alerting them of infectious diseases.
The device doesn't tell what illness a cow's got, but it does let the farmers know when a cow is under the weather; making them check earlier than they otherwise would, according to a veterinarian affiliated with the company.
Early detection makes for a healthy herd; which saves money.
Speaking of, the devices and overall setup are costly.
For now, distributors are eating the more than $600 setup fee, and charging farmers $10 per cow a month to essentially lease the devices.
The Economist pegged the world's cattle count at 1.4 billion.
That's a big market, and the company is eyeing herds in the US, Middle East and China.
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