Using wearable technology to monitor livestockBy Silent Herdsman Limited
Organisation URL: silentherdsman.com
Technology is revolutionising the process of getting food from sustainable farms through responsible purchasing and distribution networks, all the way to our plate. One company is now riding the wave of wearable devices to contribute to smart livestock farming.
Silent Herdsman is a device to monitor livestock cattle, taking the form of a wearable collar placed on as many cows as the farmer desires. The collar uses the same technology as a Wii remote – monitoring the cow’s head position in three dimensions to pick up subtle changes in movement, as well as proprietary predictive analytics software to decipher behaviour and patterns.
Messages are delivered to the farmer via a wireless network. The conditions transmitted especially highlight parameters such as when a cow is on heat or potentially becoming sick. The ability to be fed vital data for decision-making is invaluable, and saves the farmer dozens of man-hours per week that would otherwise be spent on monitoring. Fast knowledge of potential illness allows the farmer to quickly get the animal out of the herd and to a vet – saving yet more expense and possible disease transmission.
Silent Herdsman collars are currently worn by tens of thousands of cows throughout the UK and Europe, feeding hundreds of farmers data about their livestock. The company says the devices’ use has paid for itself through improved animal health, increased milk yields and enhanced profitability.
There are 34 million plus dairy cows in the EU and the US, and over a billion worldwide. Silent Herdsman has recently raised £3 million in funding to take the product further to market. With fast payback on the tech investment and the potential for socially minded, smart farming, let a farmer near you know about this clever extra help.
Image 'Until the Cows Come Home' courtesy of Marc Dalmulder.
Last updated: 28th of September, 2015