Tag Archives: welfare

694–699 J. Hart, and V. Hartová
Usage of multi-sensory MESH networks in monitoring the welfare of livestock
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Usage of multi-sensory MESH networks in monitoring the welfare of livestock

J. Hart¹,* and V. Hartová²

¹ Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (CULS), Faculty of Engineering, Department of Technological Equipment of Buildings, Kamýcká 129, CZ165 21 Prague, Czech Republic
² Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (CULS), Faculty of Engineering, Department of Vehicles and Ground Transport, Kamýcká 129, CZ165 21 Prague, Czech Republic
*Correspondence: janhart77@gmail.com

Abstract:

The trend of monitoring the welfare of livestock is continually developing at the moment. This monitoring leads to the optimization of the needs of livestock, which improves their final outputs. In terms of dairy cows, improvements in their living conditions may have a considerable impact on their productivity and the quality of their milk. Countless indicators such as temperature, humidity, how often they drink or eat, and many other parameters can be monitored. Specific measurements always depend on an initial hypothesis that is determined on the basis of specific problems. The main question still remains regarding how to measure selected variables, particularly how to transfer these outputs so that they can be easily processed. It is this issue that leads to the use of MASH multi-sensory networks.

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313–321 M. Barbari, L. Conti, G. Rossi and S. Simonini
Supply of wood as environmental enrichment material to post-weaning piglets
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Supply of wood as environmental enrichment material to post-weaning piglets

M. Barbari*, L. Conti, G. Rossi and S. Simonini

Department of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Systems, University of Firenze, Via San Bonaventura 13, IT50145 Firenze, Italy
*Correspondence: matteo.barbari@unifi.it

Abstract:

Slatted flooring is a common system used for post-weaning of piglets. In this condition of breeding, it is very hard to provide materials for environmental enrichment to enable proper investigation and manipulation activities to improve animal welfare. The research aimed to identify an alternative way to provide natural environmental enrichment during post-weaning on slatted flooring using wood. Core of veneer poplar logs and wood sawdust pressed briquettes were selected among other types of wood thanks to their wide availability and low cost. Moreover, these kinds of wood can be used without compromising the health of the animals, neither by contact nor by ingestion. The most important step of the research was to design systems to make the wood more attractive for piglets. The developed devices consisted of a fixed structural component to be installed inside the pen to which wood materials could be added and replaced quite effortlessly. Three devices were developed: a) horizontal system, b) vertical system, c) pendulum system. They were tested in three different pens, each one with 24 post-weaning piglets. The results confirmed the assumption that there is a relation between the level of activity of the animals and the interaction with the wood proposed in the shape of small logs and briquettes. In particular the device a) can generate a valuable level of interaction of the animals reared inside the pen, especially in the first 10 days post-weaning, which is the most sensitive period for piglets after mixing.

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216-225 V. Poikalainen, J. Praks, E. Kokin, A. Aland, I. Veermäe, S. Peets, J. Ahokas, M. Pastell, M. Hautala, D. Berckmans, C. Bahr, and D. Miljkovic
Elaboration of Basic Methods for Automatic Analysis of Cows’ Gait
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Elaboration of Basic Methods for Automatic Analysis of Cows’ Gait

V. Poikalainen¹, J. Praks¹, E. Kokin¹, A. Aland¹, I. Veermäe¹, S. Peets¹, J. Ahokas², M. Pastell², M. Hautala², D. Berckmans³, C. Bahr³, and D. Miljkovic³

1 Estonian University of Life Sciences, 1 Kreutzwaldi Str., EE51014 Tartu, Estonia
e-mail: vaino.poikalainen@emu.ee
² University of Helsinki, Department of Agrotechnology, P.O. Box 28 (Koetilantie 3),
00014 Helsinki, Finland; e-mail: Jukka.ahokas@helsinki.fi
³ Division Measure, Model & Manage Bioresponses (M3-BIORES), Katholike Universiteit
Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 30, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium
e-mail: Claudia.Bahr@biw.kuleuven.be

Abstract:

Two different methods for automatic registration and analysis were used to produce data for comparison and analysis of lame and healthy animals’ gait in Estonia. A walk over mat with two quazi-piezoelectric sensors was elaborated and tested in co-operation with University of Helsinki. Preliminary analysis indicates that lameness can be seen as asymmetric gait and thus the quazi-piezoelectric walk-over mat is a promising tool for automatic leg problem detection.
A video-system was introduced to record walking pattern of cows in co-operation with Catholic University of Leuven. For video recordings three cameras were used to obtain top, side and leg views with StreamPix software video-signal capture. Possibilities of image based separation of dairy cows with real time vision system and preliminary settlement of this was developed. A model-based motion scoring system is proposed for derivation of image parameters needed for lameness detection.
About 600 cows once a week were investigated in a large dairy farm during four months’ period.
Dairy cows’ gait pattern was recorded with the aid of quazi-piezoelectric walk-over mat and video-system. Preliminary lameness scoring was performed in the cowshed visually by two experts. These scoring results were later specified by expert commission on the basis of video-recordings. Lameness scores (according to Sprecher et al) were assigned as follows: 1–6,012 cases, 2–1,181 cases, 3–522 cases, 4–105 cases and 5–37 cases from total 10,653 cases. The database of cows’ identification numbers, lameness scores and disordered legs description was created, that allows synchronization of walk-over mat signals data and video files.

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