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A Tinder-style app called Tudder lets farmers find breeding matches for cattle (bloomberg.com)
126 points by montalbano 5 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 28 comments

...a process that often involves transporting animals long distances for breeding.

Cattle breeding, you're doing it wrong. Maybe it's different in UK, but on every ranch I've ever seen, if the cows aren't just out with a bull or two for a portion of the year, which bulls live the rest of the year in a nearby pasture, they get artificially inseminated. The majority (I'm at 70% this season) of those AI'ed cows get pregnant. The rest receive the attentions of a pickup bull (sometimes after another AI attempt), which bull lives in the same locale as the rest of the cattle. Very few commercially successful ranchers are hauling cows a long distance to be bred.

It is good to get semen for AI from high quality bulls available from firms like Genex, but UPS ships semen every day.

Maybe they were thinking of thoroughbred horses? That breed of that different species has a live cover requirement for progeny registration, mostly to preserve some variety. Like cattle breeders, thoroughbred breeders need a lot more information than a picture...

>>...a process that often involves transporting animals long distances for breeding.

> Cattle breeding, you're doing it wrong.

Try selling cattle.

I was previously a co-founder at (the now defunct) CloudHerd, an online cattle marketplace in Australia. We wanted to remove the requirement to physically transport cattle from seller-farm, to stockyard (physical auction house), to buyer (or back to seller if unsold). Massive waste of time and money, as well as increased stress on the animals and pollution from additional transport step.

That would be more plausible. Public stockyards are unhealthy places, and the "arm's-length" nature of those transactions means the buyer should always assume that purchased cattle are not as valuable as they seem. (For instance, there is no testing for persistent BVD at auctions around here, nor is there a requirement to declare such an infection if the seller knows about it. The state vets will catch up with this in about a decade, at which point some other disease they don't care about will be relevant.) Basically we view public auctions as a "sink": cattle can leave the farm that way but they can't enter from there. Many cattle that leave that way go to the food industry, so there is a natural limit on the sale price. Even the buyers for that segment would prefer to buy steers for which they know the breeding and health histories, which is not really possible at a public auction.

At farm auctions, one or more large farms will sell their surplus stock that has never left that farm and has received all the same care as the cattle they're keeping. These make a lot more sense for cattle to introduce into one's permanent herd, but the result is a sort of "rich get richer" effect since only large farms with long histories can do this. We've gotten our last several bulls this way, at a farm where the owner's grandfather started the auction in the 1920s. It's also possible to purchase cattle in a private sale directly, but this is so inconvenient for the seller that it's less common.

I think there is a place for a tool that makes private sales less painful. However, there are a number of challenges. On average, cattle people are reluctant to use apps with the necessary complexity, and they are less likely to trust the app itself. Also, it would be difficult to capture all the relevant qualities of cattle remotely. How many private sellers have a scale? How many of them keep vaccination records? How many of them know anything about their cattle's EPDs? How many of them have even heard of persistent BVD (or whatever other disease is locally relevant; I'm told that in Kansas, pinkeye is still impossible to eradicate whereas we just vaccinate and forget it)? Who will haul the cattle from seller to buyer and how will the cost of that vary according to different buyers? Not all of these qualities will be important to any particular sale, but some of these would be the way to beat public auctions: get better prices for sellers and better cattle for buyers.

Yep you raise valid points. We reduced the impact of a few of those by creating an inventory/farm management system that basically encouraged users to enter relevant data like vaccination schedules, weights etc - which we then piped straight into the auction system. So essentially the better your record keeping, the more trustworthy your herd looked at auction. One of the (many) difficulties was getting the farmers off of pen and paper records / excel sheets and into our system.

There is a lot of money waiting for whoever can help the beef and dairy industries become more efficient. My theory is that before we try the big "boil the ocean" stuff like a marketplace for private cattle sales, we need to find smaller easier wins. Dominance of a small market could open up possibilities for bigger markets.

Don't forget scale though. UK farms operate on a much smaller scale, and 'long distance' in the UK isn't the same as in North America.

My dad taught agriculture for like 30 years. My sister teaches it now.

I’m ashamed I didn’t think of this :(

Especially for the sale of semen for artificial insemination. Most of it, from what I've seen, is done via glorified mail-order catalogues. Tinder isn't the right format, it's not a swipe sort of deal. It'd be more like OK Cupid where you could filter on a set of criteria, metrics, and answers to questions.

There's still time to start OK Corral Cupid! (=

Well, it looks like Tupper is still available as a site for sheep: https://hccmpw.org.uk/images/resources/TUPPING.pdf

When devising terms and conditions for an online classifieds project of mine, the lawyer provided language prohibiting "stud service", which I always got a kick out of. Is brokering "stud service" actually illegal anywhere?

Not seeing how that differs from the existing herdbooks that are kept for most breeds which are used to manage AIS programmes; they're how for example the Jersey and Guernsey remain distinct despite global distribution.

They've been digital for decades now...

When I worked at Issuu I learned we had tons of documents dedicated to bull semen. For those interested in an industry few outside of ranching probably know about you can take a look here: https://issuu.com/search?language=all&q=Bull%20semen&sortby=...

Article reads like an April fools'. Cute idea, but 'cow love' is business, each bull has as many statistics as a baseball player.

Did you know that most dairy listings wouldn't even show pictures of the bull? They're far more interested in the the Bull's daughters. (which you can see in both the fancy print catalog, and often the online listings as well)/

Hectare, maker of the app according to the article does have some catalog listings online, (like this one) https://www.sellmylivestock.co.uk/view/product/E0DE3752-5E89...

and some other useful sounding sites/services like sellmylivestock and graindex https://www.hectare.farm/ so perhaps it's the breezy article that makes the app seem so frivolous.

The Yorkshireman in me wants to pronounce this as T'udder.

Does anyone know if the founders were from Yorkshire?

To be fair I also thought the same about the VW 'E Up' http://www.britishslang.co.uk/slang/ey-up

Came to say the same thing

i held out a small hope, before clicking the article, that for some stupid reason it would actually be the cows using the app and not the farmers. of course i was always going to be disappointed.

It's hard to swipe with hooves.

Haha. We can always hope :)

farmersonly.com has a lot of cows too ;)

If this were written by a German developer, it would probably be called... "Rinder"

Or Rindr, for bulls.

Wouldn't that be from an Austrian developer?

I initially read “cops” instead of “cows” and enjoyed the headline’s phrasing maybe a bit too much.

I'm bullish on this idea.

You could say the idea is udderly obvious in retrospect.

If anyone knows this for dogs pls lmk.

Tried singing up my golden retriever for tinder to find mates and they banned my account.

yes this is tinder working as intended. i wish they would ban users like you quicker


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