CowCam lets you watch calving from the web

Keeping an eye on calving cows by CCTV no longer means having to be glued to a fixed monitor in the house, thanks to a new invention from Sweden. In fact it allows you to keep watch on them from anywhere in the farmhouse – or indeed anywhere there’s access to the internet.

Called the CowCam, it is being sold by Craigavon, Northern Ireland company Agrihealth and it goes a stage further than the conventional CCTV systems used by many farmers for monitoring calving and lambing. Instead of a camera and a monitor connected by a fixed wire, the CowCam camera first sends images by a short cable to an antenna outside the barn.

The antenna then sends the signal wirelessly up to 800m (line of sight) to a receiving antenna on the ouside of the farmhouse. From there it passes the short distance indoors to the Videolink, which sends it up to 25m (depending on wall thickness) to a handheld monitor with a 2.5in LCD screen. Effectively, says Agrihealth’s William Hurst, that means you can monitor calving progress anywhere in the house. He adds that the hand-held monitor can operate for up to four hours before the rechargeable batteries need charging.

The camera has a wide angle lens and a ring of leds that allow it to see up to 10m in the dark. A second camera can also be fitted to give a wider field of coverage and the cameras transmit sound as well as visual images.

From the middle of this month the company will also offer an online option too. Instead of beaming the pictures wirelessly around the house, it sends them straight to your computer via USB cable where they are held on a password-protected CowCam website, which will be up and running in the next few days.

That means you can monitor your calving cattle in real time from anywhere there is a computer. And that includes sending the images straight to your mobile phone.

While most farmers would no doubt be content with the handheld monitor, says Mr Hurst, there are quite a few part-time pedigree producers who work in an office some distance from the farm during the day. For them, being able to monitor their calving cattle while at their desks could provide obvious benefits.

Though only on sale for a sort time, more than a 100 CowCam units have been sold, says Mr Hurst.

Cost of the kit, which includes camera, videolink, monitor, antennae and all cables, is about £500. An extra camera costs £150.

The online option doesn’t involve a set-up fee but it does require a subscription. This costs £133 for a year, but Mr Hurst says most farmers are likely to opt for the three-month subscription at £61 or six-month one for £88.

There’s also a £61 retrofit kit to allow existing units to use the online service.

More details from 0800 731 2490 or email

Need a contractor?

Find one now
See more