Big data used to study cattle resilience and efficiency

The international project GenTORE focuses on developing innovative tools for genetic selection and management to optimize the resilience and efficiency of livestock. (Sensor) data is collected for this research in the stables of Dairy Campus.
calendar icon 3 August 2020
clock icon 2 minute read

The aim is to use this information to develop tools for the livestock farmer and to achieve our global breeding goals.

Claudia Kamphuis, researcher at Wageningen Livestock Research, explains her part of the research at Dairy Campus. In this video she talks 'Improving resilience and efficiency' about, among other things, collecting sensor data that is also used at commercial companies. These currently available techniques have also been used on Dairy Campus for this purpose.

Collecting data on Dairy Campus

According to Kamphuis, the cows on Dairy Campus are not ordinary dairy cows, but special cows. "These cows gather a lot of information for our research," the researcher notes. The cows wear collars with sensors. These sensors communicate with yellow dishes above the cows. This allows all activities of the cow to be registered and subsequently charted. From how active her tripe is to what is her position and behavior. These data are currently mainly used for monitoring animal health (udder health) and fertility (draft attentions). All other present information of this cow, such as her weight and milk production, is then added and analyzed. With the aim to investigate whether this data can also be used for typing resilient and efficient cows. "With this amount and especially by combining this variety of data, we may be able to rank cows in the future based on resilience and efficiency," says Kamphuis.

Focus on resilience and efficiency

Resilience is the ability of the cow to cope well with changes in its environment and health. Feed-efficient cows can achieve equal milk production with less feed. This is of course interesting for dairy farmers from a cost perspective. In addition, resilient and efficient cows can contribute to the changing world in terms of agriculture and population composition.

Watch the video here, in which Claudia Kamphuis talks about the research she is doing with data from dairy cows for the GenTORE project.


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