Cow Health Monitor

Lead Research Organisation: SRUC
Department Name: Research

Abstract

This project will develop a state-of-the art early-detection system for metabolic and infectious disease in dairy cattle, addressing some of the key challenges facing the UK dairy sector specifically lameness, ketosis, and acidosis. Currently yield potential (i.e. growth and milk) is hindered by the high incidence and prevalence of metabolic and infectious disease. The proposed solution will utilise animal-mounted and remote sensors to identify appropriate biological indicators or "early warning" bio-markers of the subsequent clinical disease condition. Accelerometers (neck collars) will be used to determine behavioural signatures associated with feeding behaviour (eating and rumination) and lameness (gait detection). Thermal imaging will be used to detect elevated temperature associated with local inflammation and early pyrexia (fever) indicative of infectious disease. Breath and in-line milk sensors will be used to measure, in real-time, ketones. The concentration of milk ketones correlates with a wide range of other health conditions. A ketotic state indicated by elevated plasma and milk ketones can impair immune function and thereby affect disease susceptibility

Technical Summary

This project will develop a state-of-the art early-detection system for metabolic and infectious disease in dairy cattle, addressing some of the key challenges facing the UK dairy sector specifically lameness, ketosis, and acidotic disorders/diseases. Currently yield potential (i.e. growth and milk) is hindered by the high incidence and prevalence of metabolic and infectious disease. The proposed solution will utilise animal and remote sensors to identify appropriate biological indicators or "early warning" bio-markers of the subsequent clinical disease condition. Animal sensors will determine behavioural signatures associated with feeding behaviour and lameness. Targeted thermal imaging systerms will detect elevated temperature associated with local inflammation and early pyrexia (fever) indicative of infectious disease. Breath and in-line milk sensors will be used to measure biomarker chemical constituents. Assimilation of these multiple measures will aid in early warning or diagnosis of the target conditions, and allow timely management intervention.

Planned Impact

A fully integrated system will offer services (from legacy installed oestrus detection to pre-clinical disease detection) to dairy farmers on-line over a single interface throughout the world. A number of routes to commercialisation can be established arising out of the information enabled by the platform, all with the focus of reducing the operational burden on individual farms whilst increasing productivity and profit throughout the supply chain; a feeding behaviour indicator service; information on feeding and rumination behaviour of individual animals; the range of conditions that affect these normal patterns of behaviour will be derived from individual animal-mounted technology; aligned and enhanced pre-clinical meatbolic disease and lameness detection, through novel embedded sensors deployed in a milking parlour. Thus the technology providers will enhance revenues through new product functionalities which then enable a number of services to be fashioned. The consortium comprises industries across the supply chain and each can derive commercial benefit from the outputs of the programme. Ultimately supermarket customers benefit from quality product without compromising the sustainability of the UK farming sector. All partners will continue to offer individual components as is currently the case but the real value will be derived from delivery of a fully integrated solution. The programme will de-risk the implementation but exploitation will require appropriate commercial arrangements to be established. Each partner enjoys a unique position in the supply chain and thus the generated IP can be commercially exploited in specific segments of the market. The ability to share data between different vendors on agreed royalty arrangements enables tailored services delivery. More generic outputs from the project include the capacity for large scale phenotyping of animal populations, both in terms of disease susceptibility and performance at the production level. With end-user agreements, this represents a valuable, cost-effective resource for recording traits with commercial potential to provide genetic improvement.

Livestock production in the UK will gain against its international competitors and, by retaining the IP in the UK, the economic competitiveness of the United Kingdom will be enhanced. Societal benefit will stem from improved economics and sustainability of food production and a healthier national herd. The Innovate UK programme gives the partners the platform to enhance efficiency in production and improve animal health, and this will lead top buildign of market share of new, cost-effective products. New revenue will be generated through additional services which will improve productivity, welfare, and consumer confidence. This will enable the UK companies to significantly differentiate their current product offering and hence further grow market share internationally.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description We have established that we can indeed measure important cow disease biomarkers in milk head-space.
Exploitation Route Project partners will take this forward for implementation.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink

 
Description We have found out the optimal procedure for collecting biomarkers in milk headspace in milking robots.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Title CowHealth production and Health dataset 
Description This dataset combines autoatically data from the milking Robot and data recorded by farm staff on the health Status of the cows. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Scientists will be able to interogate the daaset for diferent relevant researc questions. 
 
Description Agri-EPI Centre Ltd 
Organisation Harper Adams University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Assimilated into a joint bid for funding into the UK Centres of Agriculural Innovation call and were successful
Collaborator Contribution Joint leads
Impact None yet
Start Year 2015
 
Description Dairy Precision Farming 
Organisation Fullwood Ltd
PI Contribution Our Research tem provided the Research facility interms of cows, housing facilities, techicaland Research staff and the livestock Expertise.
Collaborator Contribution University of Strathclyde brought in their computing Expertise while Fullwood Ltd contributed anautomatic milking machine (milking Robot).. Alfmilk brought in data capturing cplatform.
Impact We have identified different behavioual and physiological Parameter signatures of cows that ae related to health or commercement of disease.
Start Year 2008
 
Description Dairy Precision Farming 
Organisation University of Strathclyde
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Our Research tem provided the Research facility interms of cows, housing facilities, techicaland Research staff and the livestock Expertise.
Collaborator Contribution University of Strathclyde brought in their computing Expertise while Fullwood Ltd contributed anautomatic milking machine (milking Robot).. Alfmilk brought in data capturing cplatform.
Impact We have identified different behavioual and physiological Parameter signatures of cows that ae related to health or commercement of disease.
Start Year 2008
 
Description European Association of Animal Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Keynote talk at European Conference, since led to mutiple European contacts and and interest in project activity
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.eaap2015.org/
 
Description Invited talk "On the use of multiple sensor technologies in monitoring udder health status in dairy cows" 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was nominated as an invited speaker for the Italian Society of Buiatrics day meeting on the 12th October 2016. The main thrust of the meeting was to discuss mastitis. This provided a good opportunity for presentation of some of the work and outputs in the Cow Health Monitor project, and use of multiple sensor technologies to be able to not only identify clinical animal cases, but also the animal in the process of becoming a clinical case.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.buiatria.it/index.php/giornate-buiatriche
 
Description Open day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Open day at SRUC Barony
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description School visits 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Schoo visits
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Use of technolgy in cow management 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gave a talk at BSAS
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017