Fit Bit for Cows

This actually makes a lot of sense - a new agrarian revolution based on efficiency

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Pfft. Every hep cat knows that better living through chemistry is where it’s at:

  • Recombinant bovine somatotropin, when injected into a cow, could cause a 10 to 25 percent increase in milk production.
  • There was also a 10-15 percent increase in feed efficiency. This means that there is an effective decrease in feed costs per unit of milk produced, and therefore a lower average cost of production.
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rBST also causes:

a 25% increase in the risk of clinical mastitis, a 40% reduction in fertility and 55% increased risk of developing clinical signs of lameness.

I’m all for better living through chemistry. But rBST is not a good tradeoff for the sake of the animal’s welfare.


Hey, quit mucking up my data points. I left off some bullet points for a reason – it just confuses people…


Welcome, Mr Monsanto!

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This has becoming more common in the past few years- the older systems weren’t heat detecting but still used RFID in the cow’s tag when entering the parlour, which in turn gave the correct quantity of feed. The milk yield was also recorded and mapped, which could give you quite detailed information.

The newer systems , such as the System made by Nedap are more sophisticated, tracking individual cow movements, so you know which cow is lying where in the barn. Obviously not so useful when they are out grazing.

My parents are dairy farmers in the UK, and are currently in the process of installing a new parlour with some equipment like this (Muggins here still gets talked in to helping!), however looking towards the simpler systems. If you have a skilled Herdperson they can know a lot of this through experience. It’s the one of the reasons why they didn’t want a robotic milking parlour, you have a less personal view of the health of your cows when you don’t have a fairly hands on process of milking them twice a day.

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