How well can you measure the dairy cow's lying and standing behavior?

Author: Sofia Lindman (KSLA & Hushållningssällskapet) - Date: December 14, 2018

Well-functioning activity loggers have a great potential to be used for heat detection, but also for finding animals who are sick or are about to become sick. In this study two commercial activity loggers were tested to see how they work in a dairy herd. The authors investigated how well the loggers measured standing, lying, walking and number of steps.

Thirty cows each had an activity logger attached on the foreleg, CowScout Leg (GEA Farm Technologies, Bonen, Germany), and on the hind leg, IceTag (IceRobotics Ltd., Edinburgh, Scotland). In order to validate the results of the measurements, the behavior of the cows was observed for several days by video recordings.

The results showed that both activity loggers were almost error free when it came to detecting standing and lying behavior, but both need some improvements to accurately detect the number of steps. The CowScout logger was also inadequate when it came to registering the cows movement (IceTag does not have this feature).


Nielsen PP, Fontana I, Sloth KH, Guarino M, Blokhuis H. 2018. Technical note: Validation and comparison of 2 commercially available activity loggers. J. Dairy Sci. 101, 5449-5453.

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