TrackLab 2: A new solution for automatic recording of location, activity and social behaviour of group-housed animals

A. Van Gijssel*, B.J. Loke, W. Ouweltjes, T.B. Rodenburg, E.K. Visser, L.P.J.J. Noldus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The popularity of precision livestock farming is largely driven by a desire to optimise productivity, profitability and comfort. At the same time, there are growing societal concerns about animal welfare and animal health in relation to food safety and human health. These concerns can be addressed by academic and applied research into animal welfare and health indicators and increasingly by the utilisation of welfare and health metrics in operational farm management systems. TrackLab 2 is the latest tool for the measurement of livestock welfare and health indicators. It is designed to integrate and process multi-modal data for the capture of welfare and health indicators such as social behaviour, place-preference, activity, feeding and physiology. It was beta tested on four sites in the dairy cattle, poultry and pig farming domain. These first explorative tests revealed that TrackLab metrics are useful for both scientific, applied and commercial livestock research. TrackLab hardware is working well for large animals (cows, calves, pigs, sheep, poultry) but needs to be optimised for use on young birds and piglets. TrackLab 2 is also the first version to be applied in the operational farming context. The utilisation of welfare and health metrics in the operational context, to a level that exceeds the productivity focus, can prove a valuable asset in addressing societal concerns and enhancing livestock farming sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPrecision Livestock Farming 2019
Subtitle of host publicationPapers Presented at the 9th European Conference on Precision Livestock Farming, ECPLF 2019
EditorsBernadette O'Brien, Deirdre Hennessy, Laurence Shalloo
PublisherTeagasc
Pages677-683
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781841706542
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019
Event9th European Conference on Precision Livestock Farming, ECPLF 2019 - Cork, Ireland
Duration: 26 Aug 201929 Aug 2019

Publication series

NamePrecision Livestock Farming 2019 - Papers Presented at the 9th European Conference on Precision Livestock Farming, ECPLF 2019

Conference

Conference9th European Conference on Precision Livestock Farming, ECPLF 2019
CountryIreland
CityCork
Period26/08/1929/08/19

Keywords

  • Health
  • Livestock
  • Monitoring
  • Multi-modal
  • TrackLab
  • Welfare

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