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Open AccessArticle

Detecting Heat Stress in Dairy Cattle Using Neck-Mounted Activity Collars

1
Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G1 1XQ, UK
2
Afimilk Ltd., Glasgow G2 6HJ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2020, 10(6), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10060210
Received: 26 May 2020 / Revised: 5 June 2020 / Accepted: 5 June 2020 / Published: 8 June 2020
Collar-based activity sensors are in common use as a means of detecting oestrus to optimise farm fertility and, hence, productivity. Recently, the same acceleration-derived signals have been processed to detect the time spent ruminating and eating, which, together, give an insight into animal welfare. Here, the use of neck-mounted accelerometers to provide a quantifiable measure of the time period that an individual animal exhibits signs of heat stress is reported. Heat stress has a significant impact on both animal welfare and productivity. Cattle studied during elevated temperatures were found to exhibit signs of exaggerated breathing motions, an indicator of heat stress, for 8 h on average per day, exceeding the time that cattle spend feeding and is similar to daily rumination times. No similar cases were recorded in the cooler conditions of a Scottish winter. The approach offers a cost-effective measure of heat stress and a potential tool to quantify its impact more generally. View Full-Text
Keywords: dairy cattle; heat stress; accelerometers; collar-based sensors; precision livestock farming dairy cattle; heat stress; accelerometers; collar-based sensors; precision livestock farming
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Davison, C.; Michie, C.; Hamilton, A.; Tachtatzis, C.; Andonovic, I.; Gilroy, M. Detecting Heat Stress in Dairy Cattle Using Neck-Mounted Activity Collars. Agriculture 2020, 10, 210.

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