Saturday, August 30, 2014Mostly Cloudy 21°C
Tech

Ontario dairy cows Tweet about their teats

Posted by Lauren / March 18, 2010

ontario cows twitterWhen dairy cows start tweeting is it safe to say that Twitter is slowly taking over the world? OK maybe not, but a group of 12 dairy cows in Brant County, Ontario, have recently started "teat tweeting" and even have their own website.

It's all thanks to a collaboration between Marcel O'Gorman (head of the University of Waterloo's Critical Media Lab) and Ron Broglio (an English professor from Georgia Gwinnett College in the States). This new social media project, affectionately named the Teat Tweet Dairy Diary, aims to show consumers the often highly technological nature of farming and how the industry is changing.

I for one don't imagine robotic milking machines (effectively creating a self-serve milking bar for the cows) when I think of Ontario's dairy farms, but Voluntary Milking System (VMS) technology is becoming more and more popular among farmers in Ontario and beyond.

Farmer Chris Vandenberg of Buttermine Farms (who's cows are doing all the tweeting) told me that he isn't the only one using this new robotic milking technology, there are about 25 farms using VMS in southwestern Ontario alone. It's even more widely used in Europe, where the technology originated.

The system works by linking the cows to robotic milking pens through an electronic RFID collar. The collar tells sensors at each milking pen when the cow last gave milk, how much she gave, and how long it took. If there hasn't been enough time since the last milking, the robot won't let her into the pen.

The inspiration for the project came to O'Gorman and Broglio through talking to Chris and other farmers using VMS technology. They came to realize how drastically it's changing dairy farming.

With cows able to milk themselves any time they like, farmers using a VMS system act more like information managers than they do farmers. Dairy Diary was conceived as a way to both allow the farmer to regain intimacy with his cows, and allow people to learn more about where their milk comes from.

cows on twitterSo how do the cows tweet? Marcel O'Gorman and the crew at the University of Waterloo's Critical Media Lab didn't want to share all their secrets, but they did tell me that data individual to each cow is pulled from the robotic milking system and that tweets are generated for specific cows based on their interactions with the robots. The messages are drawn at random from a database, sort of like a chatbot.

For example, the sassy bovine Attention Please (@AttnPlease) might tweet something like "I just squirted 11.8 kgs of milk out of my teats in 5:11 seconds. What did you do today?"

Other things the cows share in their tweets? How often they get shot down by the robots (SNAP!), how much they ate while in the milking pen, which of their teats is the slowest, and how good the automated cow brusher feels.

I have been following Attention Please for a couple of months now, and the tweets are often quite funny. The project recently landed itself on The Huffington Post's "9 CRAZIEST things that can Tweet" list.

Dairy Diary was launched back in December and will be running for a year. You can check out pictures and bios of each cow on the Teat Tweet website, and follow them on Twitter (but they all tweet pretty much the same things, so you really only need to follow one): @AttnPlease, @ChargeCindy, @ChargeGina, @ChargeMabel, @ContrastAmanda, @FreerideSpeedy, @FrostyLace, @GoldwynWindy, @Jerry_J_Lo, @KurtAppeal, @MontgomeryMae, @MortyFy

Photos by Gerbrich Vandenberg.

Discussion

22 Comments

J.Rai / March 18, 2010 at 11:34 am
user-pic
This is really cool (to me)! I didn't even know about the VMS and the whole rest of it is really just insanity (the good kind). Thanks for this.
not a cow / March 18, 2010 at 11:51 am
user-pic
do cows get bored?
Alisa-Foodista / March 18, 2010 at 12:41 pm
user-pic
This is hilarious! I love it! Imagine if chickens could tweet too :)
d / March 18, 2010 at 02:25 pm
user-pic
i think if the cows were tweeting, thay 'd say things like
- stop pumping us full of steroids
- thank god we are in Canada where the human growth hormone is no longer being used, only because of a whistle blower
- your chemically lobotomizing the humans
- stop MONSANTO from trying to kill everyone

...
...
...
Joe / March 18, 2010 at 02:57 pm
user-pic
Great post! I grew up on a farm but now live in Toronto. My father owns one of the companies that installs these types of robotic milking systems:)
Penny / March 18, 2010 at 03:02 pm
user-pic
Great article Lauren! As you know, I also grew up on a diary farm in Ontario. I can't wait to tell my parents their cows could also be tweeting! This milking system is very high tech and shows that farms are a lot more modernized that most people realize. Two thumbs up Lauren!
J.Rai / March 18, 2010 at 03:28 pm
user-pic
I love milk. And beef too. Nom nom nom.
blewzineboy / March 18, 2010 at 04:35 pm
user-pic
As a former cheese monger I have to say this is mootastic (oh god, yes I just said that). Milk=cheese, and happy cows that tweet make good cheese! Very cool, I always love your articles lauren. Where else could we find out about cool/weird/nerdy/amazing stuff like this but through you.

Cows Tweeting is Fun replying to a comment from d / March 19, 2010 at 11:40 am
user-pic
D, just got hella political. Do they call you Heavy D?
jassica / October 29, 2010 at 10:43 am
user-pic
wudup i love cows
sweategar / December 10, 2011 at 11:17 am
user-pic
Good Day!

Managed accounts program, mainly in forex,
precious metals and energy related
assets, for retail investors who can pool a
minimum of 5,000$.

The average monthly returns over 10% http://eurtrading.co.cc/statement.html

At the end of the month, investor pays us 30-40%
on the profits we make.

Since the account is in the name of investor,
there is no risk to him.

All accounts are held with a reputable broker.

Any pay out given will be transferred to his own
account.

The investor can track his account regularly as
well.

If you wish to quit, you are free to do so at any
point of time.

The program with detailed report
http://eurtrading.co.cc/

Feel free to contact us

Best Regards,
Eurotrading Team
sweategar / December 11, 2011 at 11:54 am
user-pic
Good Day!

Managed accounts program, mainly in forex,
precious metals and energy related
assets, for retail investors who can pool a
minimum of 5,000$.

The average monthly returns over 10% http://eurtrading.co.cc/statement.html

At the end of the month, investor pays us 30-40%
on the profits we make.

Since the account is in the name of investor,
there is no risk to him.

All accounts are held with a reputable broker.

Any pay out given will be transferred to his own
account.

The investor can track his account regularly as
well.

If you wish to quit, you are free to do so at any
point of time.

The program with detailed report
http://eurtrading.co.cc/

Feel free to contact us

Best Regards,
Eurotrading Team
sweategar / December 11, 2011 at 11:54 am
user-pic
Good Day!

Managed accounts program, mainly in forex,
precious metals and energy related
assets, for retail investors who can pool a
minimum of 5,000$.

The average monthly returns over 10% http://eurtrading.co.cc/statement.html

At the end of the month, investor pays us 30-40%
on the profits we make.

Since the account is in the name of investor,
there is no risk to him.

All accounts are held with a reputable broker.

Any pay out given will be transferred to his own
account.

The investor can track his account regularly as
well.

If you wish to quit, you are free to do so at any
point of time.

The program with detailed report
http://eurtrading.co.cc/

Feel free to contact us

Best Regards,
Eurotrading Team
sweategar / December 11, 2011 at 11:54 am
user-pic
Good Day!

Managed accounts program, mainly in forex,
precious metals and energy related
assets, for retail investors who can pool a
minimum of 5,000$.

The average monthly returns over 10% http://eurtrading.co.cc/statement.html

At the end of the month, investor pays us 30-40%
on the profits we make.

Since the account is in the name of investor,
there is no risk to him.

All accounts are held with a reputable broker.

Any pay out given will be transferred to his own
account.

The investor can track his account regularly as
well.

If you wish to quit, you are free to do so at any
point of time.

The program with detailed report
http://eurtrading.co.cc/

Feel free to contact us

Best Regards,
Eurotrading Team
sweategar / December 11, 2011 at 11:55 am
user-pic
Good Day!

Managed accounts program, mainly in forex,
precious metals and energy related
assets, for retail investors who can pool a
minimum of 5,000$.

The average monthly returns over 10% http://eurtrading.co.cc/statement.html

At the end of the month, investor pays us 30-40%
on the profits we make.

Since the account is in the name of investor,
there is no risk to him.

All accounts are held with a reputable broker.

Any pay out given will be transferred to his own
account.

The investor can track his account regularly as
well.

If you wish to quit, you are free to do so at any
point of time.

The program with detailed report
http://eurtrading.co.cc/

Feel free to contact us

Best Regards,
Eurotrading Team
sweategar / December 11, 2011 at 11:55 am
user-pic
Good Day!

Managed accounts program, mainly in forex,
precious metals and energy related
assets, for retail investors who can pool a
minimum of 5,000$.

The average monthly returns over 10% http://eurtrading.co.cc/statement.html

At the end of the month, investor pays us 30-40%
on the profits we make.

Since the account is in the name of investor,
there is no risk to him.

All accounts are held with a reputable broker.

Any pay out given will be transferred to his own
account.

The investor can track his account regularly as
well.

If you wish to quit, you are free to do so at any
point of time.

The program with detailed report
http://eurtrading.co.cc/

Feel free to contact us

Best Regards,
Eurotrading Team
sweategar / December 11, 2011 at 11:55 am
user-pic
Good Day!

Managed accounts program, mainly in forex,
precious metals and energy related
assets, for retail investors who can pool a
minimum of 5,000$.

The average monthly returns over 10% http://eurtrading.co.cc/statement.html

At the end of the month, investor pays us 30-40%
on the profits we make.

Since the account is in the name of investor,
there is no risk to him.

All accounts are held with a reputable broker.

Any pay out given will be transferred to his own
account.

The investor can track his account regularly as
well.

If you wish to quit, you are free to do so at any
point of time.

The program with detailed report
http://eurtrading.co.cc/

Feel free to contact us

Best Regards,
Eurotrading Team
sweategar / December 11, 2011 at 11:55 am
user-pic
Good Day!

Managed accounts program, mainly in forex,
precious metals and energy related
assets, for retail investors who can pool a
minimum of 5,000$.

The average monthly returns over 10% http://eurtrading.co.cc/statement.html

At the end of the month, investor pays us 30-40%
on the profits we make.

Since the account is in the name of investor,
there is no risk to him.

All accounts are held with a reputable broker.

Any pay out given will be transferred to his own
account.

The investor can track his account regularly as
well.

If you wish to quit, you are free to do so at any
point of time.

The program with detailed report
http://eurtrading.co.cc/

Feel free to contact us

Best Regards,
Eurotrading Team
sweategar / December 11, 2011 at 11:55 am
user-pic
Good Day!

Managed accounts program, mainly in forex,
precious metals and energy related
assets, for retail investors who can pool a
minimum of 5,000$.

The average monthly returns over 10% http://eurtrading.co.cc/statement.html

At the end of the month, investor pays us 30-40%
on the profits we make.

Since the account is in the name of investor,
there is no risk to him.

All accounts are held with a reputable broker.

Any pay out given will be transferred to his own
account.

The investor can track his account regularly as
well.

If you wish to quit, you are free to do so at any
point of time.

The program with detailed report
http://eurtrading.co.cc/

Feel free to contact us

Best Regards,
Eurotrading Team
why always me t shirt / May 9, 2013 at 09:09 pm
user-pic
Somebody essentially assist to make severely articles I would state.
That is the first time I frequented your website page and up to now?
I amazed with the analysis you made to make this actual submit incredible.
Wonderful task!
hangover movie / May 9, 2013 at 11:06 pm
user-pic
I hardly leave a response, but i did a few searching and wound up here Ontario dairy cows Tweet about their teats.
And I do have a few questions for you if you tend not to mind.
Could it be just me or does it appear like some of
the remarks come across like left by brain dead individuals?
:-P And, if you are posting at additional sites, I would like to
keep up with anything new you have to post. Could you list of
all of all your community pages like your linkedin profile,
Facebook page or twitter feed?
free Web hosting Services free Websites / January 17, 2014 at 11:06 pm
user-pic
It's very simple to find out any topic on net as
compared to books, as I found this piece of writing at this
web site.

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Montreal