EuroTier Innovation Award Silver Medal for cow body scan
The innovative 3D image analysis system captures bodycondition, gait pattern and measurements of the body at the same time.
More information you will get at the EuroTier 2018 on the DLG Special “Digital Animal Farming” Hall 26 / A06f and on our booth Hall 26 / C15
Ketzin, Sept. 2018:
Animal welfare is in the focus of today’s society. Recent studies on the assessment of animal health reveal that up to 50% of the animals in a herd of dairy cows may have hoof and limb problems (EBERT et al., 2017). In addition, motor skill disorders are the second most common cause of animal loss (LKV SACHSEN, 2017). So far it has only been possible to detect initial lameness and overconditioning in dairy herds by a trained eye. This costs time and depends entirely on the observer. If there is no or insufficient animal observation, serious consequences for the herd may result. The cows are not optimally conditioned and suffer from metabolic disorders, which not only leads to a decline in performance and fertility disorders but also to animal losses. Particularly in today’s complex field of herd management, time for holistic animal observations are rare, but essential to ensure a smooth production process and economic success.
To support a targeted animal observation, the assistance system cow body scan was developed for herd management. The scientific and technical foundations for the automatic, non-contact condition determination of cattle were created in the predecessor project On-Farm-Recording with the optiCOW sensor (PACHE et al., 2013). The funding of these collaborative projects with the project partners (Dorsch Software, Schneider Electronics, dsp-Agrosoft and the LFULG Saxony) was and is provided by the BMEL through the BLE project sponsorship as part of the program for promoting innovation through funding from the special purpose funds of the Federal Government and the Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank.
cow body scan offers livestock farmers a 3D image analysis system that measures three parameters of the cow: Body Condition = Cow Condition Score (CCS), Gait = Cow Movement Score (CMS) and Body Size = Cow Size (CS). The detection happens without contact, automatically and objectively after each milking session for the entire herd with a 3D image sensor. The cow is identified by an electronic animal identification. From the gait of the cow in motion, the sensor determines the CCS, CMS and CS parameters. The determined data are processed via software in the on-site system. It is then stored and remains in constant exchange with the animal-specific information from the herd management system HERDEplus. This in turn provides the farmer a current, up-to-date list of animals suspect of sickness or illness and gives him information of the deviation of the condition and movement parameters of every individual animals normal state. With existing selection techniques, these suspect animals can be selected for examination or treatment.
The CCS simplifies the previous classic condition assessment. The combination of CCS and CMS can contribute significantly to the improvement of hoof health and the early detection of changes in the gait pattern caused by diseases. The new information can be used in herd management in many ways by making the evaluation of individual animals, through defined groups (eg feeding groups) to the entire stock, possible. The livestock farmer has the opportunity to respond quickly to individual animals in suspicion of illness and take appropriate action. Lists of suspected lame animals, for example, can be transmitted directly to the hoof trimmer via the management software. The time gained in this way can be invested in targeted animal observation. This in turn promotes the economic success and animal welfare.
The decisive advantages of cow body scan:
- Saving time
- No fixation of, and less stress to the cows
- Less interruptions in the production process
- Objective, contactless and automatic measurement of the animals health and growth
- Detection of deviations from the normal state of individual animals
- Daily providing of indicators for, the herd management without additional workload
- Interface with HERDEplus and KLAUE
- Data-evaluation ranging from the entire herd to single cows
- Alarm list with conspicuous animals
- Positive effects on profit performance and animal welfare
- PACHE, S., HÖLSCHER, R., STEINHÖFEL, I., FISCHER, R. (2013); KTBL – 11th Conference Construction, Engineering ans Enviroment in Livestock Farming., Vechta Darmstadt 2013, S.275-280
- LKV SACHSEN (2017); Prüfung der Rinder auf Robustheit und Gesundheit (GERO), Jahresabschluss 2017, S. 7
- EBERT, F., CERNA, A., ULLRICH, E.; STARKE, A. (2017); Systemanalyse im Milchviehbestand – Schwerpunkt Bewegungsapparat,
- Workshop 3 – Wissenstransfer zur Verbesserung der Wirtschaftsleistung landwirtschaftlicher Betriebe, Leipzig 2017