Moocall puts farmers on calving alert
23 September 2014 | 0
On top of the usual feats of agrarian accoracy, the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska this week sees the launch of a a world first product to monitor the calving process using sensor technology.
The Moocall Sensor is a mobile calving alert device that uses gesture recognition technology to monitor cows nearing the end of their gestational period. The technology responds to the movement a cow makes in early labour and sends a text message to the farmer to alert him.
Moocall allows farmers to nominate two phone numbers to receive the alert text when the cow is one hour from birthing, ensuring cow and calf are cared for in the event of a difficult birth. Moocall’s technology means farmers will no longer need to constantly monitor CCTV or regularly visit calving sheds during the day or at night. Moocall Mobile Calving Sensors accurately detected over 200 births on Irish and UK farms this summer.
The inspiration behind Moocall, farmer Niall Austin from Co Offaly, said: “I have lost heifers and calves on my own farm simply because I was not there to help and after the last tragic incident in 2010, I wanted to try and find a way to prevent it happening again.
“Moocall has been three years in the making and I am delighted it is finally ready for launch. Losing a cow and calf during birthing process is heart-breaking and very often completely preventable. Like humans, labour can be sudden, quick, late or unexpected at times making it difficult for the farmer to predict. Pedigree calves in particular are often big and require Caesarean sections meaning both vet and farmer need to be on hand to make sure nothing goes wrong.
“I believe Moocall Sensors will be invaluable to farmers, giving them certainty and peace of mind as their cows near the end of their gestational period. The sensors are easy to use, inexpensive and can be easily transferred between cows – one device is more than adequate to service a small herd of 40–50 cattle.”
Chief investor and Moocall chairman Michael Stanley added: “Working alongside the Moocall team were our Irish technology partners Motech Engineering and Dolmen. The most important thing for us was ensuring both the technology and device were secure and fail-safe. The Moocall Mobile Calving Sensor incorporate the latest 3D motion sensors, complex algorithms and an embedded roaming M2M SIM meaning the devices can pick up any network signal, no matter how weak.
“We have stress-tested the technology extensively and it has proved faultless. The sensor is fitted to the cow’s tail and activated in a matter of seconds and the robust ratchet strap system means they fit all sizes comfortably. The device is so simple to use and is built to last, they are also fitted with a 30 day rechargeable battery. Users have access to a telephone helpdesk and also an online dashboard to manage multiple devices.”
The Moocall Sensor is priced at €299 and the first 1,000 units sold come with free 12 month text and service bundle worth €160 from www.moocallsensors.com.