Birth of a handy device
THE first parturition detector for cattle could be on the market later this year after its debut.
It has been designed by ex-farmer Peter Franklin of Pateley Bridge, North Yorks, and will now undergo on-farm tests at Harper Adams Agricultural College.
About 3in long and 1.25in in diameter, it consists of a plastic-coated transmitter fitted with a retention device, which can be inserted into the cervix.
Programmed to operate by a fall in temperature, the detector is set at 38C (100F). At the onset of parturition a "bleeper" is activated as the cows body temperature falls more than five degrees.
Price will be about £500. *