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Open AccessArticle

Use of Predicted Behavior from Accelerometer Data Combined with GPS Data to Explore the Relationship between Dairy Cow Behavior and Pasture Characteristics

1
ESEOTech-LAUM, Ecole Supérieure d’Electronique de l’Ouest, 49000 Angers, France
2
Terrena Innovation, 44150 Ancenis, France
3
URSE, Ecole Supérieure d’Agricultures, University Bretagne Loire, 49000 Angers, France
4
INRAE, BIOEPAR, Oniris, 44307 Nantes, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2020, 20(17), 4741; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20174741
Received: 24 July 2020 / Revised: 13 August 2020 / Accepted: 18 August 2020 / Published: 22 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Body Worn Sensors and Related Applications)
Our aim in this study was to investigate whether the behaviors of dairy cows on pasture, predicted with accelerometer data and combined with GPS data, can be used to better understand the relationship between behaviors and pasture characteristics. During spring 2018, 26 Holstein cows were equipped with a 3D-accelerometer and a GPS sensor fixed on a neck-collar for five days. The cows grazed alternatively in permanent and in temporary grasslands. The structural elements, soil moisture, slope and botanical characteristics were identified. Behaviors were predicted every 10 s from the accelerometer data and combined with the GPS data. The time-budgets expressed in each characterized zone of 8 m × 8 m were calculated. The relation between the time-budgets and pasture characteristics was explored with a linear mixed model. In the permanent grassland, dairy cows spent more time under a tree to ruminate (p < 0.001) and to rest (p < 0.001) and more time to graze in areas with Holcus lanatus (p < 0.001). In the temporary grassland, behavior was influenced by the external environment (presence of other animals on the farm; p < 0.05). Thus, this methodology seems relevant to better understand the relationship between the behaviors of dairy cows and grazing conditions to develop precision grazing. View Full-Text
Keywords: predicted behaviors; cow location; animal–environment interaction; three-dimensional accelerometer; Global Positioning System; agro-ecology predicted behaviors; cow location; animal–environment interaction; three-dimensional accelerometer; Global Positioning System; agro-ecology
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Riaboff, L.; Couvreur, S.; Madouasse, A.; Roig-Pons, M.; Aubin, S.; Massabie, P.; Chauvin, A.; Bédère, N.; Plantier, G. Use of Predicted Behavior from Accelerometer Data Combined with GPS Data to Explore the Relationship between Dairy Cow Behavior and Pasture Characteristics. Sensors 2020, 20, 4741.

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