Journal article
Technical note: Evaluation of a new system for measuring feeding behavior of dairy cows

Publication Details
Büchel, S.; Sundrum, A.
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Computers and Electronics in Agriculture
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Abstract Feed intake, feeding and rumination time are important parameters in the identification of suboptimal feeding conditions and possible health disorders. The automatic recording of individual feeding behavior constitutes a reasonable tool for early detection of deviations in feeding behavior and feeding deficiencies. For this reason, a new system for measuring feeding behavior of dairy cows has been developed. The sensor-based system DairyCheck consists of a halter with two incorporated electrodes, a data logger, an accelerometer, power supply, and evaluation software. Measurement of feeding behavior ensues through surface electromyography (EMG), whereby electrical potential oscillations during jaw movements are recorded. Data are transmitted directly via radio transmission to a computer with automatic evaluation software. Automatic analysis software is based on an algorithm to identify single jaw movements and differentiate between active feeding phases and non-active dormant phases. For validation, feeding behavior of 14 cows as determined by both the EMG system and visual observation was analyzed. Results showed adequate agreement of the results of both assessments. However, further progress and research are necessary for automatic data interpretation with a self-learning algorithm, to develop this EMG-based system into an appropriate management tool in the field of precision dairy farming.


Last updated on 2019-09-07 at 13:05