Cow ‘Fitbits’ improve dairy production
A precision dairy expert says electronically monitoring cows can improve dairy production. Jeffery Bewley, a former University of Kentucky dairy specialist, describes wearable electronic monitors as Fitbits for cows.
“They’re monitoring for activity or rumination or eating time,” Bewley told Brownfield Ag News. “They’re constantly monitoring the same way a Fitbit is constantly monitoring people and looking for deviations that tell us something’s going on with that animal and helps us to know more about the animals that we’re working with.”
Bewley says the devices can improve production through supplying data on cows, such as heat detection.
“We can improve the breeding program,” said Bewley, “also perhaps reducing some disease incidence or reducing the impact of the disease because we’re able to identify it sooner and help the cow deal with it sooner.”
Bewley spoke at a series of Missouri Dairy Association Dairy Profit Seminars in locations across Missouri.
AUDIO: Jeffery Bewley (5 min. MP3)