On farms trials to collect data from sensors monitoring animal welfare

ClearFarm researchers have started collecting samples and data about animal welfare from sensors in cow and pig farms.

ClearFarm trials in pig and dairy cattle farms are ongoing since last January. After selecting a set of indicators to monitor animal welfare, different sensors available in the market were installed in commercial farms.

Regarding dairy cow’s welfare, trials are being run in farms from Spain, Finland, Italy and the Netherlands. Researchers installed sensors onto a collar around the cow’s neck and they are collecting data on the movement and behavior of cows. Moreover, rumen boluses are being used to collect data about body temperature, rumen pH, ruminating activity, among other indicators.

In pig production, studies are being carried out on commercial and experimental farms in Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands. ClearFarm researchers have installed cameras and microphones, that using Artificial Intelligence, give them information about the activity and behavior of each animal in real time.

All this data is being analyzed by animal welfare scientists and it will be integrated using intelligent algorithms and used to identify, for example, changes that are likely to be indicative of welfare problems and less efficient production performance. The aim is to transform sensor data into welfare-relevant information, but simultaneously taking environmental impact and economic performance into account.

The algorithm will be the basis of ClearFarm platform, which will be adapted according to production system (pig or dairy cattle) and end-user needs (producer or consumer), and it will provide easy-to-understand information about the welfare of animals.