Indicators of resilience during the transition period in dairy cows: A case study

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4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The transition period is a demanding phase in the life of dairy cows. Metabolic and infectious disorders frequently occur in the first weeks after calving. To identify cows that are less able to cope with the transition period, physiologic or behavioral signals acquired with sensors might be useful. However, it is not yet clear which signals or combination of signals and which signal properties are most informative with respect to disease severity after calving. Sensor data on activity and behavior measurements as well as rumen and ear temperature data from 22 dairy cows were collected during a period starting 2 wk before expected parturition until 6 wk after parturition. During this period, the health status of each cow was clinically scored daily. A total deficit score (TDS) was calculated based on the clinical assessment, summarizing disease length and intensity for each cow. Different sensor data properties recorded during the period before calving as well as the period after calving were tested as a predictor for TDS using univariate analysis of covariance. To select the model with the best combination of signals and signal properties, we quantified the prediction accuracy for TDS in a multivariate model. Prediction accuracy for TDS increased when sensors were combined, using static and dynamic signal properties. Statistically, the most optimal linear combination of predictors consisted of average eating time, variance of daily ear temperature, and regularity of daily behavior patterns in the dry period. Our research indicates that a combination of static and dynamic sensor data properties could be used as indicators of cow resilience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10271-10282
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume101
Issue number11
Early online date20 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

Keywords

  • behavior
  • dairy cow
  • dynamic indicator
  • resilience
  • transition period

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