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Research unit
FSVO
Project number
2.17.03
Project title
Methodological bases of the localisation of individual animals in barns with freely moving herds for monitoring welfare and health

Texts for this project

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Key words
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Short description
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Project aims
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Publications / Results
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Inserted texts


CategoryText
Key words
(German)

Tierwohl, grosse Gruppen, Milchkühe, Galtsauen, Echtzeit Lokalisierungssystem, TDOA Methode, Multinode Skalierbarkeit

Key words
(English)

Welfare, large groups, dairy cows, dry sows, realtime location systems (RTLS), time difference of arrival (TDOA), multinode scalability

Short description
(German)
Der Strukturwandel in der Landwirtschaft führt dazu, dass die Zahl der gehaltenen Tiere pro Betrieb und die Zahl der Tiere pro Gruppe insbesondere bei den Zuchtsauen und Milchkühen ansteigt. Es ist unklar, inwiefern solche grossen Gruppen das Wohlbefinden der Tiere in Bezug auf Sozialbeziehungen, Zeitbudget und Aufenthaltsort beeinflussen. Diese Fragen lassen sich am einfachsten mit Daten aus einem System zur automatischen Lokalisierung aller Individuen in einer Gruppe beantworten. In diesem Projekt soll eine relativ einfache und günstige Technik weiterentwickelt werden, um eine genaue Lokalisierung mehrerer „Knoten“ (Tieren) in Echtzeit zu erreichen. Dieser Nachweis der Machbarkeit wird den Weg ebnen, um die Auswirkung grosser Gruppen auf das Wohlbefinden zu beurteilen und kann Gesundheits-Frühwarnsysteme mit detaillierten individuellen Informationen ergänzen. Dieses Wissen dient als Basis für Empfehlungen wie man am besten grosse Gruppen von Nutztieren hält.
Short description
(English)
Structural changes in the agricultural sector lead to an increase in the number of animals kept per group specifically for dry sows and dairy cows. Whether and how much these large groups influence animal welfare as reflected in social relations, time budget and area of residence is largely unknown and can be addressed most easily with the use of an automated tracking system. In this project, a relatively simple and low cost system will be developed further to reach precise real-time location estimates of where nodes (animals) are located for several nodes. This proof of concept will pave the way for addressing the effect of large groups on welfare and will also allow to expand early health warning system approaches that rely on detailed individual data. Such knowledge will serve as the basis for recommendations of how to best keep large numbers of livestock animals.
Project aims
(English)

The immediate objective is to advance an available system for local positioning (see Methods) to reach sufficient accuracy (< 0.5 m) in a real-world barn environment or, at least, to understand under which circumstances this accuracy can be reached. Also, the software will be expanded to tracking several nodes (animals) simultaneously. This development stage will be the starting point for further commercial development in the way of a CTI project.

The ultimate objective of this project is to advance a local positioning system such that tracking animals in large groups of dry sows, dairy cattle (sheep, and goats) becomes feasible in order to study the impact of large group sizes on the welfare of these animals.

Publications / Results
(German)

Publication planned in “Computers and Electronics in Agriculture”

Related documents
Publications / Results
(English)
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168169919304466

Hindermann, P.;Nüesch, S; Früh, D.; Rüst, A.; Gygax, L. (2020) High precision real-time location estimates in a real-life barn environment using a commercial ultra wideband chip, Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, Volume 170, March 2020.