Potential Utilization of Automatic Cows Weighing for Evaluation of Health and Nutritional Condition of Herd

Šárka Podlahová, Luboš Smutný, Miloslav Šoch

Abstract


Weight of cows affects a large number of factors. Regular weighing and data processing can detect differences that may indicate disorders requiring nursing interventions, e.g. nutritional deficiencies, incorrect fetal development and health problems. The current weighing systems operate as stationary - the animal is fixed, identified and weighed. However, the procedure is time consuming and operation, and that is way this system is used minimally. That implies the need of complete automation of all activities associated with the weighing, which enables introduction of pass – through weight. The aim of this thesis was to develop a methodology for evaluating health and nutritional status of the herd based on data from an automated system for weighing a live weight of dairy cows. There was used in the weighing unit for milking robots Astronaut A3 (Lely company) to obtain weight data of individual cows. There were selected dairy cows with the longest period of lactation or already drying off, and especially dairy cows with various health problems for study. Limiting values of weight changes were established after assembling a general equation of mass curve. In the sphere of the diseases there was manifested only ketosis in the weight curve with a loss of 10.2 kg / day (38% weight loss). Additionally, the completion of growth during the first 2 periodes of lactations and weight gain due to advanced pregnancy were confirmed. The maximum daily weight difference recorded in healthy animals was 7 %, equivalent to 40 - 45 kg. The results of the study will be applied for compiling algorithm that will be implemented in the complete management system of cattle breeding, monitoring the dairy cows every day and highlight possible deviations exceeding of physiological changes in weight.


Keywords


cattle breeding; management; nutrition; weighing

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LUCRARI STIINTIFICE ZOOTEHNIE SI BIOTEHNOLOGII (SCIENTIFIC PAPERS ANIMAL SCIENCE AND BIOTECHNOLOGIES)

ISSN print 1841 - 9364
ISSN online 2344 - 4576
ISSN-L  1841 - 9364
(former ISSN 1221-5287, E-ISSN 1841-9364)

PUBLISHER: AGROPRINT Timisoara, Romania
PAPER ACCESS: Full text articles available for free
FREQUENCY: Semiannual
PUBLICATION LANGUAGE: English
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Banat´s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine "King Michael I of Romania" from Timisoara
Faculty of Animal Science and Biotechnologies
300645, Timişoara, Calea Aradului 119, Romania

E-mail: spasb [at] animalsci-tm.ro
Phone: +40-256-277160, Fax.: +40-256-277110