The idea of cows hooked up to the internet sounds just a little bit silly, doesn’t it? After all, it sounds as though it involves a bunch of heifers looking up bargains on eBay or checking out their field on Google Earth.
However, it is a bit more sensible than it sounds, unfortunately. A bunch of Scottish dairy farmers have connected their bovine buddies to the web to see if they can increase milk production in this way.
The project has been designed to allow the farmers to check out how healthy their cows are and to quickly identify any possible health issues.
Millions of Pounds Worth of Investment
The company behind the plan is called Silent Herdsman and the Scottish firm has been given millions of pounds worth of funds by Scottish Equity Partners in order to get more cows on the net. In fact, they plan to make it a worldwide scheme.
It works through special electronic collars which are placed on the cattle. These contain wireless sensors which pass on data about the animal’s health and milk production to a central computer.
Annette McDougall is the chief executive of Silent Herdsman and she said that the scheme allows farmers to check the “fertility behaviour” of their animals, how likely each cow is to get pregnant and how much milk they can expect from their herd.
Over time the same system could be rolled out to suppliers, retailers and vets, all of whom would have access to useful data in real time.