‘World first’ SMS calving alert device unveiled

A new device that alerts farmers via SMS when a cow is about to give birth has been unveiled, in what is being called a ‘world first’.

The mobile calving device, created by Irish start-up Moocall Sensors, clips on to a cow’s tail and uses ‘gesture recognition’ technology to note the movements a cow makes when it’s nearing the end of its gestational period. A text message is then sent to the farmer letting them know which cow triggered the alert, gimmedigital.com reports.

Mobile SMS alerts mean that farmers no longer need to frequently check CCTV footage or head out to check on pregnant cows during the night. More than 200 births were detected on UK and Irish farms using the tech this summer alone, businessandleadership.com notes.

The devices were developed by Co. Offaly farmer Niall Austin, who described his inspiration for the innovative product.

“I have lost heifers and calves on my own farm simply because I was not there to help and after the last tragic incident in 2010, I wanted to try and find a way to prevent it happening again,” Austin explained.

“I believe Moocall Sensors will be invaluable to farmers, giving them certainty and peace of mind as their cows near the end of their gestational period. The sensors are easy to use, inexpensive and can be easily transferred between cows – one device is more than adequate to service a small herd of 40 to 50 cattle.”