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Development of a Livestock Feeding Behavior Monitoring System

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 54(5): 1913-1920. (doi: 10.13031/2013.39832) @2011
Authors:   T. M. Brown-Brandl, R. A. Eigenberg
Keywords:   Cattle, Electronic identification, Feeding behavior, Radio-frequency identification (RFID), Swine

Feeding behavior contains valuable information that can be used for various needs, including managing livestock, identifying animals that are sick, and determining genetic differences within a herd. Feeding behavior initially was recorded only in individual or small group pens. Currently, there are commercially available systems that determine feeding behavior and feed intake; however, these systems limit access to the feeding stations, thus changing feeding behavior. A system was developed using radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology and a series of multiplexers to determine individual animal feeding behavior in an industry-type feeding system. This system has been applied to both feedlot cattle and grow-finish swine. Validation of the cattle system determined that it was in agreement with independent video monitoring equipment 98.3% of the time, and the swine system was in agreement 98.7% of the time. Both systems have proven to be rugged and reliable in livestock industry settings.

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