‘Dating app for cows’ helps farmers match cattle

The latest matchmaking app to hit smartphones is like many others: swipe one way for a match, swipe another to reject. The only problem is that it’s a little hard for the targets being matched to swipe with their hooves.

Tudder is an app that allows farmers to swipe through pictures of cattle that might be potential breeding partners for animals in their herds. It works similarly to human dating apps that allow users to screen potential dates, eliminating options with a swipe of the finger on the touchscreen.

For each option, the app presents information obtained through genomic testing that could be useful when considering an overall breeding program, including milk yield, protein content and calving potential.

“Matching livestock online is even easier than it is to match humans because there’s a huge amount of data that sits behind these wonderful animals that predicts what their offspring will be,” Hectare Agritech CEO Doug Bairner told Reuters.

The app’s makers seek to make breeding easier for farmers and ranchers, making decision-making easier and allowing them to connect with other farmers easily while requiring less travel. It’s currently only used for animals in the United Kingdom and can be downloaded for free from several common app stores.

Genomic testing, which is available even without the use of apps or marketplace websites, looks at the genome of an individual bull or cow. The genome is the entire body of genetic material of an organism — the entirety of their DNA, basically.

With genomic testing of beef cattle, producers can identify which members of their herds have economically advantageous traits. This includes things like:

  • High fertility
  • Efficient feed conversion
  • Likelihood of producing tender meat
  • Disease resistance
  • Ability to adapt to different climates and environments

So far, 42,000 animals are available for browsing on the app.

“Buying breeding cattle is now enabled by a huge amount of genetic data to create the perfect match,” Hectare Agritech co-founder Jamie McInnes said. “This is the equivalent to a human online dating profile, except it is validated in science rather than a self-proclaimed GSOH.”

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