BOWNE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – Dairy farmers are using fitness trackers, similar to Fitbits and smartwatches, to learn more about their cows.
Michigan’s SwissLane Farms has been a fan of the technology for about seven years as the staff tries to stay ahead of its competition.
“We’re finding that if we don’t, we’re not going to be able to keep up with our competition,” Tom Oesch, the dairy operations manager there says.
SwissLane Farms has milking stations that don’t require any human interaction. The cows decide when to go in then laser technology helps the machine find and clean their udders before milking.
“We feel like automation is the future of milking cows,” Oesch says.
These activity trackers work alongside that same technology. The gadgets found around their necks, track the cows’ weight, daily steps, milk production and even how often she chews and spits.
“The more she’s chewing, we know the healthier her stomach is,” Oesch explains.
Corralling all that cattle information digitally has been a big help. Oesch said that the cows in the automated barn are much calmer.
They’re also living longer, producing more and in the animal hospital less. It’s a testament to technology, according to Oesch.
Source: NBC News