by Áine Quinn
Cows and bulls searching for “moo love” now have a mobile app to help their breeders.
A U.K. farming startup introduced a Tinder-style app, called Tudder, that lets farmers find breeding matches by viewing pictures of cattle with details of their age, location and owner. Users hear a mooing sound as they swipe -- right to show they’re interested or left to reject possible matches.
Hectare, which designed the app, says it “seeks to unite sheepish farm animals with their soulmates.” Selling animals using social media can speed up a process that often involves transporting animals long distances for breeding.
“Tudder is a new swipe-led matchmaking app, helping farm animals across the U.K. find breeding partners in the quest for moo love,” according to the Apple app store description.
Farmers that swipe right on an image of a particular cow -- or group of cows -- are directed to Hectare’s livestock-buying website, with a chance to contact the owner or make an offer. The listing website includes information on the animal’s character and any health issues.
Profile descriptions range from “nice big strong sorts make nice suckler cows” to “quiet well grown young bull ready to work,” and farmers can also restrict their online search by whether the animal is organic, pedigree or on a farm where tuberculosis has been detected.
Marcus Lampard, a farmer in Carmarthenshire in southwest Wales, has one pedigree beef shorthorn breeding bull listed on the app and says it’s a lot easier to sell livestock online.
“Going to market is a nuisance,” he said by telephone. “If I go to an open market with a bull, and then maybe bring it back, it shuts everything down on the farm for at least two weeks.’’
Lampard, 76, said his daughter lists the cows online for him. “At my age we think we’re quite techy, but our grandchildren think we’re hopeless,” he said.
Hectare raised over 3 million pounds ($3.9 million) from investors including government programs, author Richard Koch and tennis player Andy Murray, according to its website.
About a third of U.K. farms use Hectare’s platforms to trade livestock and cereals, Chief Executive Officer Doug Bairner said by email, after the app was described in the Sunday Times.
“Matching breeding livestock online should be even easier than matching people,” Bairner said. “Sheep breeding is similarly data driven so maybe ‘ewe-Harmony’ should be next.”
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