Ruminant activity is considered an important non-invasive measurable parameter for the early identification of metabolic problems in ruminants. Traditional rumination sensors have drawbacks, particularly when used in the cowshed area. The newly developed ART rumination sensor incorporates a noseband sensor comprising a fluid-filled tube and pressure sensor, a data logger, and the evaluation software. The data are transmitted to the PC via a USB interface. The R-based software allocates individual jaw movements to ‘rumination‘, ‘eating‘ and ‘other activities’ on the basis of learned data. Validation has shown that the equipment works reliably, and that visual and automatic evaluation are extremely consistent with one another. The ART rumination sensor is suitable for research and advisory purposes. It will need to go through further stages of development – already in progress – before becoming widely used in practice.
Which stakeholders in the dairy sector have an influence on the productive life of dairy cows? Research results from FiBL and Agroscope suggest that broad-based cooperation is needed to create structures for a longer productive life.
Agriculture is aiming to reduce greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions. Agroscope showed that for dairy cattle housing, feed composition plays a role in these emissions as well as wind and temperature.
Lazzari G., Münger A., Eggerschwiler L., Borda-Molina D., Seifert J., Camarinha-Silva A., Schrade S., Zähner M., Zeyer K., Kreuzer M., Dohme-Meier F.
Tannin-containing feedstuffs like Acacia mearnsii and sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia) have a measurable impact in reducing methane emissions from dairy cows. However, since these feedstuffs in some cases lead to productivity losses, careful consideration must be given to their use.