Moo! Texts from a Pregnant Cow Help Researchers at UNH
Students at the University of New Hampshire are using a device called “Moocall” to monitor pregnant cows at night. The technology was developed in Ireland in 2015; UNH is one of two universities in the States to use the sensor for agricultural research.
The sensor attaches to the cow’s tail and records movements that coincide with birthing contractions. When things start getting serious, the sensor sends a text message to the researcher, who can run into the field to help the cow give birth.
Kayla Aragona is a first year doctoral student at UNH studying Agricultural Sciences. She’s used Moocall since February to research cow nutrition. She says without the sensors, she would not have known when her cows were going into labor. And that’s because her cows have gone into labor at night.
"The majority of cows that I’ve gotten the Moocall text alerts from have calved between 11 and 2 am,” she reports.
Arriving at the scene as fast as possible is a win-win: the cow gets a midwife and the researcher gets more accurate data.