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Validation of an algorithm for real-time measurement of sheep activity in confinement by recording movement within a commercial weighing crate

Citation

Horton, BJ and Miller, DR, Validation of an algorithm for real-time measurement of sheep activity in confinement by recording movement within a commercial weighing crate, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 129, (2-4) pp. 74-82. ISSN 0168-1591 (2011) [Refereed Article]


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DOI: doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2010.11.007

Abstract

This study reports a method of measuring sheep activity in confinement based on recording movement of sheep during weighing. The aim was to show that an algorithm to analyse continuous weight records could be used to measure activity quickly and efficiently using commercial weighing equipment and that this measurement is related to animal productivity, specifically liveweight. A prototype method required magnetic switches on the weighing crate to record gate positioning and enclosure of the animal, with data analysis subsequent to the completion of weighing. The method reported here does not require additional equipment, instead using a computer program to analyse weights in real-time to record the degree of sheep movement. The result is summarised as the coefficient of variation of the weight over a period of 820 s and reported as an activity score. The real-time method had a higher repeatability (P < 0.05) than the prototype method and gave a stronger association with liveweight with heavier lambs and heavier young sheep being less active under confinement at 6 months and 18 months, respectively (P < 0.05). These findings indicate that a simple system could be developed enabling real-time reporting of activity scores during normal weighing.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
Research Group:Animal Production
Research Field:Animal Management
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Livestock Raising
Objective Field:Sheep - Wool
Author:Horton, BJ (Dr Brian Horton)
Author:Miller, DR (Dr Dale Miller)
ID Code:62186
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Agricultural Science
Deposited On:2010-03-10
Last Modified:2017-10-02
Downloads:0

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