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Open AccessTechnical Note
Agriculture 2017, 7(7), 53; doi:10.3390/agriculture7070053

Validation of the Ability of a 3D Pedometer to Accurately Determine the Number of Steps Taken by Dairy Cows When Housed in Tie-Stalls

1
McGill University, Department of Animal Science, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC H9X 3V9, Canada
2
Agrocampus Ouest, 35000 Rennes, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Courtney L. Daigle
Received: 30 May 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Animal Behavior Using Remote Sensing and GIS Technologies)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [191 KB, uploaded 30 June 2017]

Abstract

The automation of farm tasks in dairy production has been on the rise, with an increasing focus on technologies that measure aspects of animal welfare; however, such technologies are not often validated for use in tie-stall farms. The objectives of the current study were to (1) determine the ability of the IceTag 3D pedometer to accurately measure step data for cows in tie-stalls, and (2) determine whether the leg on which the pedometer is mounted impacts step data. Twenty randomly selected Holstein dairy cows were equipped with pedometers on each rear leg and recorded for 6 h over three 2-h periods. Two observers were trained to measure step activity and the total number of steps per minute were measured. Hourly averages for right and left leg data were analyzed separately using a multivariate mixed model to determine the correlation between pedometer and video step data as well as the correlation between left and right leg step data. The analysis of the video versus pedometer data yielded a high overall correlation for both the left (r = 0.93) and right (r = 0.95) legs. Additionally, there was good correlation between the left and right leg step data (r = 0.80). These results indicate that the IceTag 3D pedometers were accurate for calculating step activity in tie-stall housed dairy cows and can be mounted on either leg of a cow. This study confirms that these pedometers could be a useful automated tool in both a research and commercial setting to better address welfare issues in dairy cows housed in tie-stalls. View Full-Text
Keywords: automation; dairy cow; pedometer; validation study automation; dairy cow; pedometer; validation study
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Shepley, E.; Berthelot, M.; Vasseur, E. Validation of the Ability of a 3D Pedometer to Accurately Determine the Number of Steps Taken by Dairy Cows When Housed in Tie-Stalls. Agriculture 2017, 7, 53.

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