NZ farmer orders drone strike on killer cows

Killer cows

Well, sort of…

Janina and Justin Slee are using a drone to muster hard-to-reach cattle on their property near Mount Domett, and the technology has revolutionised the way they operate their farm.

After hearing about the drone at a show in Wanaka about six months ago, the couple decided to bite the bullet and try the technology on their own farm.

The move paid off, and Janina is full of praise for the high-tech tool.

“It’s amazing, it musters a whole hillside in a matter of two minutes,” she said.

“It’s just so easy, so quick.”

It will have to be, as those drones don’t have a particularly long flight time.   But it clearly scares the crap out of the cows for now.  

Part of its effectiveness was the effect it had on the cattle.

“There were some clever old Hereford girls that hid in the scrub, but they’re terrified of it,” she said.

The drone could muster the cattle quickly without them branching off into groups, which they often did when working dogs were used.

At about $1800, the drone was also proving to be a savvy financial decision.

“It’s cheap as chips. You go and buy a really good working dog, they’re $2500 and then you’ve still gotta feed it.”

The couple had been concerned about being able to work the technology, she said.

However, they found it was easy to use.

In fact, she believed if more farmers realised how easy it was to control, more of them may start using drone technology.

I suspect cows will start to get used to it and it will become less of a source of fear, but in the mean time, the farmers get to play with a cool toy and they don’t even have to wander about the hills looking for stock.


– Daisy Hudson, NZ Farmer

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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