Infrared temperature patterns of cow’s body as an indicator for health control at precision cattle farming
Estonian University of Life Sciences, Kreutzwaldi 1, EE51014, Tartu, Estonia
Cows’ infrared radiation temperature study was carried out at experimental cowshed (120 cows) of Estonian University of Life Sciences. Thermal image scanner Fluke TiS was used for obtaining 640×480 pixels thermal images with resolution of 0.1°C. The temperature distribution pattern of different parts of cow’s body was estimated and analysed with SmartView software. Special attention was paid to udder, feet and areas with skin injuries. It was estimated that the temperature varies considerably at different parts of the body. Radiation temperature of healthy udder did not change considerably after milking. It means that automatic monitoring of udder temperature is possible not only in milking parlour or milking robot but also in other places where cows are identified. The udder thermograms enable to assess the milking hygiene, as the cleanliness of udder surface influences the measurement results, especially average temperature. The temperature of legs was lowest at the hoofs and highest at coronary band. Differences from this distribution may be used for estimation of leg disorders. Thermal images can be also successfully used for detection of skin injuries. Radiation temperature of injured and depilous locations was higher by several degrees than their surroundings. The study showed that thermal images analysis is promising method to be implemented at precision cattle farming.