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My phone tells me if cows are calving.

WELSHPOOL farmer Richard Tudor is enjoying a stress-free end to the calving season thanks to the use of an innovative calving detection aid, the Moocall.

Mr Tudor is using the unit on trial with Asda as a member of the retailer's BeefLink suckler group.

So far he has found it a great help with the last of his spring calving cows in his 140-cow suckler herd at Llysun, Llanerfyl.

The kit is strapped to the cow's tail and, by monitoring tail movement, it detects when the cow is about to give birth - then sends an SMS text message alert to the farmer's phone.

"We're in the tail-end of calving now and this is the time when the Moocall is of most use to me," said Mr Tudor "With just a few cows left to calve, and plenty of other work to do on the farm, I'm not around the yard watching them so much."

Richard Tudor with one | of his newborn calves " As he has just a single unit at the moment, Mr Tudor is fitting it to the cow closest to calving. As each one calves, he fits it to another cow.

someone around to keep an eye on things.

at 10 months and heifers retained for replacements.

The unit arrived two weeks ago and it quickly proved its worth. Fitted to a cow close to calving, Moocall sent out a text message an hour before she calved.

"But at the beginning and tail-end of calving, when your attention can be elsewhere, it's a really valuable aid."

Asda agricultural manager Pearce Hughes said the adoption of new technologies such as Moocall was an important development tool that may boost animal welfare and ease farming workloads. The Moocall device | Mr Tudor added: "I don't think the unit would be as much use during peak calving when we have 10-12 cows calving-aday and there is always " The Llysun herd produces around 130 calves-a-year, with bull calves sol

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Jun 11, 2015
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