UK - Monitoring cattle

28 May 2013

COWTrack is the name of a new research project between livestock researchers at Aarhus University and logistics and integratorvirksomheden Lyngsoe Systems, which is based in Aars. The project was helped along financially as COWTrack in late 2012 had committed 9.5 million. from DKK Green Development and Demonstration Programme in Natural Business Authority.


Together, the parties have just embarked on the project, which is scheduled to culminate in a system for monitoring cows based on so-called RFID tags that have built a so-called accelerometer, which is able to measure the cows' movements and positions and through radio signals can send the collected data on.
The idea is that the system is based on algorithms developed in the project are able to make a daily and continuous estimation of feeding behavior and activity of the individual cow. When the system detects that a cow is behaving abnormally, the farmer will be able to get a message through SMS and able to respond quickly.
The special feature of the monitoring system is that, unlike other existing systems on the market are capable of automatically measuring the amount of time a cow spends on the feed table.
- We will COWTrack develop a monitoring system that can detect cow's time at the feed bunk. If the cow staying for a shorter time than usual at the feed bunk, it is an indication that there is something wrong with the cow, explains Peter Thomsen, senior scientist and expert on cows' health and welfare, and continues:
- Surveillance systems are becoming more and more important for the growing herds because employees in the modern yards can not detect how much feed the cow eats. This could be in the old stanchion barns where each cow got its own ration placed in front of them. There was obvious, if a cow is not eating his food.
Lyngsoe Systems must be in the project work on the development of the tag, which will sit in the collar of the cow.
- We need to develop a robust roof, which must be in a tough housing environment. We need to have control on the data from the tag, while ensuring that we get as few mistakes views as possible, explains business developer Keld Arenholt Christensen from Lyngsoe Systems.
Lyngsoe Systemes has entered into cooperation on COWTrack because they see great potential for the final product.
- We have 20 years of experience in the field, and we can, by benchmarking ourselves against other products on the market provide a unique product because it can estimate the feeding behavior. The product we believe simultaneously can be done cheaper than existing solutions while providing a better basis for animal welfare in the stables, says Keld Arenholt Christensen.
Peter Thomsen's input to the project is primarily to ensure better health and welfare of cattle statements and provide research that can be translated into something workable in agriculture.
- Disease in cows costing farmers a lot of money. We believe that by being able to identify the animals that are going to get sick very early in the process can save the individual farmer too much money, says Peter Thomsen.
Around September rains parties to be ready with the first prototype of the system.

Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.

Dawn Meats Group

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