Farmers in Essex are using the Cow Tracking Project to keep tabs on their cattle.
A farm in Essex has been connecting its cows to the Internet to monitor their behaviour.
The team behind 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 farmer’s computer and phone via text and emails.
If a cow starts acting differently or gets separated from the herd, the farmer can locate it to make sure it has not become lame or picked up an infection thanks to daily updates on the computer.
Information is on not only the individual cows and their behaviour over time, but also their interaction with each other.
By monitoring cattle 24/7, the project can save farmers from having to put in extra labour and spending money on antibiotics after infections have fully developed.
"We reckon every case [of cow infection] we get costs us £300," John Torrance, a farmer in Essex, told the BBC. "Every case you reduce, potentially you’re reducing your costs."
"We’ll be able to find out how much a cow is eating, how much a cow is drinking and lying down and sleeping. An important part of milk production is that a cow has to lie down and sleep."
It is the first time the technology has been used on a dairy herd in the UK and it could change the way farmers look after their animals.