The ITK group took part in the webinar “Digital and well-being in livestock farming” through its subsidiary New Medria. The webinar was organised by the Chaire AgroTic and featured Marie Desmaison, in charge of deploying livestock farming products, during the session “Evaluating animal’s well-being: from measurements to decision support”.
itk offers a range of services for monitoring reproduction, feeding, health, behaviour and animal welfare in cattle.
Animal welfare is often a concern for farmers caring about the health of their animals. ITK is aware that welfare has many dimensions, that is why it has created the Time’Live tool which is integrated into its Farmlife platform for decision support in dairy farms over the annual life cycle of a herd.
Time’Live is a high quality, user friendly monitoring service to monitor the behaviour of each animal and to obtain initial information on the well-being of farm animals. Combined with the other Farmlife services, particularly on nutrition and the reproduction cycle, Time’Live gives the farmer an additional key and provides him with a global vision to help him make decisions based on an enriched diagnosis of animal welfare.
This service has been launched in 2019 and highlights behavioural problems of single animals or the herd by comparing the amount of time spent lying-down vs standing up. Time Live allows an early detection of pathologies (lameness, lack of comfort, behavioural problems, etc.) and thus helps to reduce the use of antibiotics
Herd monitoring with Farmlife
The itk Farmlife service platform includes 5 services dedicated to livestock breeders, mainly dairy but also beef.
Farmlife is designed to provide the farmer with quick access to all the essential information on his herd. It is easy to use, features a user friendly web application and a mobile application offering an intuitive and simple user experience, to support the breeder in his daily life in the office or in his livestock farm.
The ease of consultation of the mobile application helps the breeder in his tasks and increases his comfort at work, increasing the time he can spend with his animals.
Farmlife supports decision making regarding :
- Reproduction through calving forecasts and heat monitoring
- Nutrition through feeding monitoring
- Health and animal welfare
The objective of Farmlife is to alert the farmer when an event occurs, to give him a global vision of his animals and the state of his herd in real time. The platform allows to :
- Alert (SMS, Smartphone, Internet)
- Optimise investments
- Reduce risks
- Increase confort and well being at work
The Farmlife ergonomic dashboard groups together all the services and in particular the Time Live ® dedicated to the monitoring of animal welfare. This dashboard provides a summary of the alerts that have been reported and the follow-up of events.
Only one sensor is needed by Farmlife
Itk provides a multi-service collar equipped with a 3D accelerometer measuring in the three directions (vertical, horizontal and lateral). It detects the behaviour of each animal continuously, at 5 minute intervals.
The data is sent using LoRa technologies from the sensors to the box and directly via the Internet to the servers. The data is stored securely on the server for an unlimited time.
The connected collar allows to detect and measure different activities : resting, ruminating, eating, overactivity and social interactions or movements.
Over the course of the day, every 5 minutes, an artificial intelligence algorithms allow you to:
- Monitor the herd
- Detect calving
- Monitor feeding activities
- Detect cow heat
- Measure the animal’s time schedule in detail (monitoring of lying and standing up times during the day)
© Medria solutions
Scientific research at the heart of animal welfare
ITK uses the results of its agronomic research activity and its expertise in the field to create powerful, increasingly efficient algorithmic and artificial intelligence models.
Numerous scientific publications have shown the value of behavioral monitoring of cattle in detecting welfare problems, a source of discomfort for the animal, but also loss of productivity. Variations in indicators such as the time spent lying down, or a drop in activity, can alert the breeder or his breeding adviser, before the symptoms or the loss of production are very visible. They allow early detection of pathologies such as lameness or mastitis. Even in the absence of pathology, the productivity of a dairy cow is strongly correlated with the duration of its daily rest. Similarly, monitoring time spent standing can detect excessive waiting times at milking, or travel times to pasture which, if too long, will disrupt the animal’s balance and well-being. animal.
Breeders concerned about the health of their animals want to be able to act quickly and decrease the use of chemicals to treat animals, in particular antibiotics. Technical advisors, for their part, have a particular interest in aquiring information on the herd in order to support breeders over the long term.
Based on scientific research, ITK is committed to produce indicators that can be used to increase animal welfare.
How is Time Live used for dairy and beef cattle?
To use Time Live wisely, two main indicators have been designed for each animal but also at the herd level and are available in Farmlife by displaying simple visuals:
- the animal’s time schedule
- the amount of time spent sleeping
The breeder receives an alert when an animal shows unusual behavior. He also accesses an overall analysis of the behavior of the herd. The benefits for the breeder who uses Time Live are the ease of use (reduction of time in managing their production) and the automated observation provided by these digital packaged services.
Alerted in real time, breeders are more proactive in reacting to the detection of anticipated health problems in the animal and monitoring the recovery of the animal towards normal behavior after a major event. The diagnosis of the breeder will be facilitated thanks to this additional information.
On the scale of the herd, the analysis of its overall behavior (visualization by half-hour range of the average behavior of the herd) makes it possible to detect problems with the layout of the building: diagnosis of feeding (problems of access to the trough), or the number of animals lying down at night (quality of cubicles).
Addressing these issues improves the welfare of the entire herd. These functionalities are accessible to the breeder himself, but can also enhance the expertise of his breeding advisors, who can help him interpret FarmLife alerts in the light of his experience. For the distributor, our platform allows to obtain commercial and marketing benefits, to personalize their advice, their recommendations, their products, by coupling Farmlife data with their CRM data. Farmlife creates a new consulting dimension, enriching customer relationships.
Access the replay video of the webinar
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