In a study recently published in Nature Scientific Reports, French scientists from the public research institutions INRAE and VetAgro Sup have shown the benefits of continuous monitoring of cattle for the detection of sickness and discomfort.
Cows of different ages were exposed to temporary inflammation and monitored for 24 hours either through collar accelerometers or punctual visual observations.
The results indicate that combining these two types of information could provide great benefit for better and earlier animal care. In fact, whereas visual observations identified specific sickness behaviors such as changes in expression or posture, the accelerometers confirmed them by recording changes in basic activities, such as ingestion, rumination and position.
The accelerometer-equipped collars were provided by ITK, which has a longstanding experience in the development of smart monitoring solutions for dairy farm management.
Xavier Wagner, manager at ITK, remarks “the precision and reliability of our technology have been confirmed once more. ITK is proud to have been chosen by INRAE and VetAgro Sup for such a high-level study, which provides methodologies for a more sustainable farm management aiming to improve animal care and well-being.”
Agronomist and scientific editor