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Back page: Moo-ving out: Sensor sends text alerts from cows in labor

University of New Hampshire student Kayla Aragona displays a device called Moocall with a pregnant cow named Magenta, Tuesday, July 19, 2016 in Durham, N.H. The sensor attached to their tails sends text alerts to help detect when they're in labor. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
AP | AP

DURHAM, N.H. — University of New Hampshire dairy researchers are more relaxed these days about monitoring pregnant cows: A sensor attached to their tails sends text alerts to help detect when they’re in labor.

Moocall measures tail movement patterns triggered by labor contractions. On average, it alerts dairy managers by cellphone and email about an hour before a cow gives birth.

Moocall was developed in Ireland and released commercially last year. The company says the University of Kentucky also uses the technology.

Doctoral student Kayla Aragona says with about 70 calves born every year at the farm, it’s a help.

But it’s not foolproof. One unhappy cow rubbed her tail up against everything and banged the sensor on the wall to try to get it to fall off, leading to false alarms.

—The Associated Press


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