There’s an App for That: Healthier Milk via Cow Smart Pedometer

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A dairy cow at the University of Missouri’s Foremost Dairy Center in Columbia, Missouri.
Source: Mizzou CAFNR, “Foremost Dairy Cows_06252014_0001,”, June 24, 2014, Creative Commons license

Healthcare providers frequently recommend people take 10,000 steps a day, prompting many to use artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled fitness trackers like Fitbits and Apple Watches. [1] [2]

But how many steps a day should dairy cows take?

Stellapps, a tech startup based in Bangalore, India, is poised to find out with their cow-wearable device called mooON. [3]

Ranjith Mukundan, co-founder and CEO of Stellapps, explained the device as “like a Fitbit for cattle [that] goes around the animal’s leg, and [tracks] their activity levels.” Mukundan said cows move less when they are sick and move more when they are ovulating, valuable information for dairy farmers. mooON not only tracks the cows’ steps, but also tracks vaccination and artificial insemination schedules, sharing important health markers with farmers and veterinarians. [3]

While the idea of a cow fitness tracker may seem silly at first glance, science supports the theory that cows that exercise are healthier. Studies at Kansas State University have shown that cows that exercised regularly were less likely to have elevated temperatures (making them more able to handle hot days), had more protein and lactose in their milk, and were, anecdotally, happier. Abi Wilson, a master’s student in biology at the time of the study, said, “In the morning, some of them skip down to the exerciser, excited, kicking up their heels.” [4]

The cow step counters are just one piece of the puzzle for high-tech dairy farmers in India, the world’s largest milk producer. Stellapps uses “advanced analytics and artificial intelligence” throughout the milk procurement process to power an ultrasonic analyzer to determine the nutritional content of milk (which is important information for consumers but also tells farmers important information about their cows’ health and standardizes milk pricing), digital scales, and a payment platform (“mooPay”). [3] [5]

Discussion Questions

1. Does adding technology complicate or ease the process of getting milk from the cows to the store? Explain your answer(s).

2. What other technology could be applied to animal farming? Think outside the box and explain your answer(s).

3. How many steps do you think dairy cows need to take a day? Show your research.


1. Thom Rieck, “10,000 Steps a Day: Too Low? Too High?,”, March 23, 2020

2. Sayali Sawat, “How AI Enabled Wearables Are Changing Healthcare and Fitness Industry,”, Dec. 11, 2019

3. Rebecca Cairns, “This Dairy-Tech Startup Has Created a Step Counter for Cows,”, Feb. 2, 2022

4. K-State News, “Research from Kansas State University Shows That Daily Exercise Helps Dairy Cows Reduce Effects of Heat Stress,”, Oct. 14, 2016

5. World Economic Forum, “Stellapps,” (accessed Feb. 14, 2022)