Analysis of individual classification of lameness using automatic measurement of back posture in dairy cattle

S. Viazzi, A.A. Schlageter Tello, T. van Hertem, C.E.B. Romanini, A. Pluk, I. Halachmi, C. Lokhorst, D. Berckmans

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    110 Citations (Scopus)


    Currently, diagnosis of lameness at an early stage in dairy cows relies on visual observation by the farmer, which is time consuming and often omitted. Many studies have tried to develop automatic cow lameness detection systems. However, those studies apply thresholds to the whole population to detect whether or not an individual cow is lame. Therefore, the objective of this study was to develop and test an individualized version of the body movement pattern score, which uses back posture to classify lameness into 3 classes, and to compare both the population and the individual approach under farm conditions. In a data set of 223 videos from 90 cows, 76% of cows were correctly classified, with an 83% true positive rate and 22% false positive rate when using the population approach. A new data set, containing 105 videos of 8 cows that had moved through all 3 lameness classes, was used for an ANOVA on the 3 different classes, showing that body movement pattern scores differed significantly among cows. Moreover, the classification accuracy and the true positive rate increased by 10 percentage units up to 91%, and the false positive rate decreased by 4 percentage units down to 6% when based on an individual threshold compared with a population threshold.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)257-266
    JournalJournal of Dairy Science
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • locomotion score
    • cow gait
    • reproductive-performance
    • hoof pathologies
    • holstein cows
    • milk-yield
    • system
    • pain
    • association
    • assessments


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