Young scientist keeping tabs on wandering cows
THE grass is always greener on the other side for cows, at least when the weather is at it's worst.
This was the main finding that a young farmer came across when presenting his project at the recent BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition.
Ian Woods (14), who is a pupil at Mary Immaculate School in Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare told the Farming Independent that in an effort to keep tabs on animals on his family dairy farm during bad weather, he strapped trackers to three cows and a bull and monitored them via a weather station on the farm.
"I wanted to see where the cows went during rainy and stormy weather. I was really surprised that the cattle moved more when the weather was wet and windy," he says.
"I would have thought they would go to shelter, but my test proved that the bad weather didn't affect them at all."
He says the findings prove that the age-old mantra of having "good grass" on your farm is right.
"I realised that the cows went wherever the grass was good so they could graze, and it didn't matter how rainy or stormy it was to them," he adds.
"They moved less when it was dry. I'd say that farmers need to make sure they have good quality grass for their cows to graze, and it seems then they won't go off too far."