Three-dimensional (3D) imaging technology to monitor growth and development of holstein heifers and estimate body weight, a preliminary study - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Sensors Year : 2022

Three-dimensional (3D) imaging technology to monitor growth and development of holstein heifers and estimate body weight, a preliminary study

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Abstract

The choice of rearing strategy for dairy cows can have an effect on production yield, at least during the first lactation. For this reason, it is important to closely monitor the growth and development of young heifers. Unfortunately, current methods for evaluation can be costly, time-consuming, and dangerous because of the need to physically manipulate animals, and as a result, this type of monitoring is seldom performed on farms. One potential solution may be the use of tools based on three-dimensional (3D) imaging, which has been studied in adult cows but not yet in growing individuals. In this study, an imaging approach that was previously validated for adult cows was tested on a pilot population of five randomly selected growing Holstein heifers, from 5 weeks of age to the end of the first gestation. Once a month, all heifers were weighed and an individual 3D image was recorded. From these images, we estimated growth trends in morphological traits such as heart girth or withers height (188.1 ± 3.7 cm and 133.5 ± 6.0 cm on average at one year of age, respectively). From other traits, such as body surface area and volume (5.21 ± 0.32 m2 and 0.43 ± 0.05 m3 on average at one year of age, respectively), we estimated body weight based on volume (402.4 ± 37.5 kg at one year of age). Body weight estimates from images were on average 9.7% higher than values recorded by the weighing scale (366.8 ± 47.2 kg), but this difference varied with age (19.1% and 1.8% at 6 and 20 months of age, respectively). To increase accuracy, the predictive model developed for adult cows was adapted and completed with complementary data on young heifers. Using imaging data, it was also possible to analyze changes in the surface-to-volume ratio that occurred as body weight and age increased. In sum, 3D imaging technology is an easy-to-use tool for following the growth and management of heifers and should become increasingly accurate as more data are collected on this population
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hal-03714573 , version 1 (05-07-2022)

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Attribution - CC BY 4.0

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Yannick Le Cozler, Elodie Brachet, Laurianne Bourguignon, Laurent Delattre, Thibaut Luginbuhl, et al.. Three-dimensional (3D) imaging technology to monitor growth and development of holstein heifers and estimate body weight, a preliminary study. Sensors, 2022, 22, pp.4635. ⟨10.3390/s22124635⟩. ⟨hal-03714573⟩
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