Fitbit for cows? Health monitoring helps dairy farmers

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(NewsNation) — People have been wearing fitness trackers for years, now cows at dairy farms across America have access to the same technology.

It’s like a Fitbit, but a cow collar or rumination collar called an automated health monitoring system.

Barbara Jones said farmers are putting them on cattle to help track their steps, chewing habits and how much milk they are producing. She said the collars are beneficial because they can help farmers address labor and sustainability issues, by monitoring how many steps a cow is taking and if they’ve eaten.

“They can’t watch one cow all day to see what she’s doing, how many times she’s chewing her cud, how many steps she’s taking a day — making sure that she’s healthy,” Jones explained. “We can track how many times they’re chewing their cud. Tracking their overall activity, which is basically how many steps they take through a day, just to make sure that they’re moving around correctly.”

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