In the mooed

I have long argued — with scarcely any dissenting voices, I might add — that I am utterly unable to read signals from allegedly “interested” females. Then again, there’s no percentage in it for them, so ultimately it’s a wash.

On the other hoof, if you need to know when your cows are in heat, there’s something resembling an app for that:

[Christian] Oesch tends a herd of dairy cattle and carries a smartphone wherever he goes. Occasionally he gets an SMS from one of his cows.

That is because Mr. Oesch, 60, who cares for a herd of 44 Red Holstein and Jersey dairy cows, is helping to test a device that implants sensors in cows to let farmers know when they are in heat. When that is the case, the device sends an SMS to the farmer’s phone.

There is, of course, the best possible reason for this:

The electronic heat detector is the brainchild of several professors at a technical college in the nearby Swiss capital of Bern. It fills a market gap, they say, because dairy cows, under growing stress to produce larger quantities of milk, are showing fewer and fewer signs of heat. That makes it harder for Swiss farmers to use traditional visual inspections to know when to bring on the bull or, in about 80 percent of the cases these days, the artificial inseminator.

Romance just ain’t what it used to be, if indeed it ever was.


  1. GradualDazzle »

    4 October 2012 · 10:32 am

    I’m sure that a Romantic Interest Indicator app would hardly be any less accurate than the Ghost Detector app, albeit perhaps the creep factor might be elevated in the former. ;-D

  2. fillyjonk »

    4 October 2012 · 10:52 am

    I think there was some kind of Japanese product that allegedly did something like that for humans – more of a gauge of interest than “being in heat,” though.

    (I’ve heard it argued that humans are permanently “in heat.” That’s probably why us spinsters are the only ones who ever get any work accomplished.)

  3. CGHill »

    4 October 2012 · 11:04 am

    … us spinsters are the only ones who ever get any work accomplished.

    Surely that rates a THIS.

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