Prediction of calving time in dairy cattle

Fadul Mahmoud, Bogdahn Christopher, Alsaaod Maher, Hüsler Jürg, Starke Alexander, Steiner Adrian, Hirsbrunner Gaby
Animal Reproduction Science 2017, 187: 37-46
This prospective study was carried out to predict the calving time in primiparous (n=11) and multiparous (n=22) Holstein-Friesian cows using the combination of data obtained from the RumiWatch noseband-sensor and 3D-accelerometer. The animals included in the study were fitted with the RumiWatch noseband-sensor and 3D-accelerometer at least 10days before the expected calving day. The calving event was defined as the time of the first appearance of the calves' feet outside the vulva, and this moment was determined by farm staff and/or confirmed by video monitor. As primiparous and multiparous cows behaved differently, two models including data of noseband-sensors and 3D-accelerometers were used to predict the calving time in each group. Lying bouts (LB) increased and rumination chews (RC) decreased similarly in both groups; besides that, boluses (B) decreased and other activities (OA) increased significantly in multiparous and primiparous cows, respectively. The sensitivity (Se) and specificity (Sp) for prediction of the onset of calving within the next 3h were determined with the logistic regression and ROC analysis (Se=88.9%, 85% and Sp=93.3%, 74% for multiparous and primiparous cows, respectively). This pilot study revealed that the RumiWatch system is a useful tool to predict calving time under farm conditions.


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