Researchers using fitbits on cows to monitor activity

STEPHENVILLE, Texas (KTRK) -- Dairy cows are being digitally tracked by fitbits to monitor their eating and sleeping habits, according to a Texas A&M University researcher.

According to a new release from TAMU, researchers at Tarleton State University's Southwest Regional Dairy Center in Stephenville, located about two hours southwest of Dallas, say that digitally tracking diary cows' eating, sleeping and other movements helps them take better care of the herd they milk three times a day.

"We have two fitbits on every cow," said Dr. Barbara Jones, director of the university's dairy operation. "They help us to monitor their health, and to keep them content. And that matters to us because we truly do care about cows, as all producers do."

One of the wearable devices tracks how long the cows eat, how long they lay down or how many steps they take.

The other is networked with the milk parlor, allowing researchers to track how much milk each of the cows give.

"The research we do here helps to make sure the cows stay content and happy," Jones said. "That not only benefits the animal, it makes life easier for the producer, and allows them to make better decisions on the farm."
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