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Tijdschr Diergeneeskd. 2001 Feb 15;126(4):99-103.

[Automated detection of estrus and mastitis in dairy cows].

[Article in Dutch]

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Wageningen Universiteit, Rudi de Mol, IMAG, Postbus 43, 6700 AA Wageningen.


The development and test of detection models for oestrus and mastitis in dairy cows is described in a PhD thesis that was defended in Wageningen on June 5, 2000. These models were based on sensors for milk yield, milk temperature, electrical conductivity of milk, and cow activity and concentrate intake, and on combined processing of the sensor data. The models alert farmers to cows that need attention, because of possible oestrus or mastitis. A first detection model for cows, milked twice a day, was based on time series models for the sensor variables. A time series model describes the dependence between successive observations. The parameters of the time series models were fitted on-line for each cow after each milking by means of a Kalman filter, a mathematical method to estimate the state of a system on-line. The Kalman filter gives the best estimate of the current state of a system based on all preceding observations. This model was tested for 2 years on two experimental farms, and under field conditions on four farms over several years. A second detection model, for cow milked in an automatic milking system (AMS), was based on a generalization of the first model. Two data sets (one small, one large) were used for testing. The results for oestrus detection were good for both models. The results for mastitis detection were varying (in some cases good, in other cases moderate). Fuzzy logic was used to classify mastitis and oestrus alerts with both detection models, to reduce the number of false positive alerts. Fuzzy logic makes approximate reasoning possible, where statements can be partly true or false. Input for the fuzzy logic model were alerts from the detection models and additional information. The number of false positive alerts decreased considerably, while the number of detected cases remained at the same level. These models make automated detection possible in practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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