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Canadian cows using Twitter to report milking activities

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A social media project in Canada is tweeting cow activities.
A social media project in Canada is tweeting cow activities.

As it turns out, some cows have a lot more to say than just "Moo."

A Canadian social media project is reporting the milking activities of 12 dairy cows located on a farm in Brant, Ontario, through microblogging website Twitter. Each of the cows has an account that announces the finer details of the operation, down to which utter was most recently milked.

"The primary goal of the project is to raise questions about how technology mediates the relationship between animals and humans," the project's website, Teat Tweet, said.

Each of the cows is equipped with a special tag that keeps track of what they do through a main computer. The farm uses a voluntary milking system, which reads the tag and concludes if a cow should needs to be serviced.

Rather than just post statistics, each of the cows was given a particular personality through the project, which is being put on by University of Waterloo. They occasionally even quote lines from the ancient Roman poet Virgil.

Although the dairy operation in Canada may be tweeting away its successes, farmers in the U.S. are facing economic difficulties tied to dropping dairy prices. Recently, members of the federal legislature called on the USDA to exhaust every option to help these producers.ADNFCR-2034-ID-19787432-ADNFCR

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