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The RumiWatch System: Automated Feeding and Health Monitoring for Dairy Cows

The RumiWatch system is a smart farming tool, which enables an accurate detection of eating and rumination behaviours performed by dairy cows. The aim of the researchers was to check, if the system that was already established in science for its practical usage.

The feeding of dairy cows, especially efficient feed intake and utilization, are of central importance for successful milk production. The RumiWatch system consisting of the RumiWatch Halter, a Pedometer and an evaluation software gain valuable knowledge about the health and feeding management of a farm. 

As part of this advisory project from the Federal Office for Agriculture, we wanted to bring the agricultural advisory service for dairy farms closer to a tool that can be used to improve health and feeding management. The application requirements as well as the practicability for counsellors were examined and the expected benefit was validated. Among the farm managers, eleven out of thirteen are convinced that the RumiWatch system is well suited for gaining knowledge about eating behaviour and operational feeding management. In addition, ten out of thirteen welcome the idea of ​​making RumiWatch systems available at school locations as an advisory aid. The consultants and veterinary services involved also agree that the RumiWatch system is well suited for the control of feeding and health management.

Conclusions

  • With the exemplary application of RumiWatch under advisory conditions, it was possible to show the farm managers where they can improve their management and how the own assessment of the cows corresponds to reality.
  • The RumiWatch system can be classified as a useful tool for practice and advisory.
  • In order to use RumiWatch, consultants must be trained for the evaluation. In addition, the presentation of the results must be further simplified.
  • The managers and those involved from advice and the veterinary service support the idea of ​​making RumiWatch available as an advisory tool.

Scientific article

The RumiWatch System: Automated Feeding and Health Monitoring for Dairy Cows

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