The livestock production main purpose is to satisfy the customer requirements at a price that enables the producer to make a profit. This trend moved the farm concept to the new control and monitoring technology system to support its operations. This new idea of the farm takes the name of “Precision farming technology” (PFT). The objective of the researches described in this thesis is to study and evaluate different type of technologies used in the PFT. To achieve this objective, six different trials were done; in the first trial, it was evaluated the use of an electronic system for automatic calving detection; in the second trial, it was designed, developed and tested a GPS/GSM birth alarm for cattle-grazing; in the third trial, it was evaluated the oestrus detection in a dairy cattle farm with the Herd Navigator™; in the fourth trial, it was analysed the reproduction and economical performances in a dairy cattle farm with the Herd Navigator™; in the fifth trial, it was designed and tested a low cost GPS/GPRS collar to combat cattle rustling; in the sixth trial, it was studied a GPS collar to trace the epidemiological issues in a flock. In the first study, the technical performance of the C6 birth control system® was analysed. The C6 birth control system® is an electronic device that detects the time of the expulsion phase during the calving. A number of 53 Holstein was fitted on the day 280±5 of gestation with the C6 birth control system®, which was left in place until confirmation of calving. Sensitivity and positive predictive value of the system were calculated as 100% and 95%, respectively. The partum events occurring at the group fitted with the system were compared with the analogous occurred at 59 animals without device. When alarmed by the system the farm staffs were in the calving barn during the expulsion phase in the 100% of the cases. On the contrary the cows without the device were assisted only in 17% of the cases (P<0.001). The aim of the second trial was the development of a GPS/GSM birth alarm for cattle-grazing (GPS-CAL). At the expulsion phase, during the calving, the system sent a Short message Service (SMS) to the farmer’s phone. In the SMS there were indicated the GPS coordinates where the cow was calving. Three tests were done: a) laboratory test to evaluate the battery life and the GPS’s accuracy; b) field test in a commercial dairy farm with small pasture; c) field test in a commercial cattle farm in the Apennines. The laboratory tests showed a battery life of one month. The GPS accuracy was 1,237 m. In field “b” were tested 18 calving. In field “c” were tested 8 calving. In the total of 26 calving the GPS-CAL sent the SMS with the correct cow calving position. The third study was related to the Herd Navigator™ monitoring of cows reproduction performances. The Herd Navigator™ is a system that automatically programs the analysis of milk progesterone samples from selected specific cows of the herd. In a commercial dairy farm, the same 156 cows were monitored with both a Herd Navigator™ and a DeLaval® activity system. Sensitivity and positive predictive value of the systems were calculated as 100% and 96% for Herd Navigator™, and as 49% and 70% for activity meter. The test definitely, demonstrates a significant difference (P<0.001) between the two-oestrus detection systems both for sensitivity and positive predictive value, with higher performances for the Herd Navigator™ system. The aim of the fourth trial was verify the Herd Navigator™ benefits on the reproduction management in a commercial dairy farm - with automatic milking system - located in mountain areas. Reproductive and economical data were recorded before and one year after the Herd Navigator™ installation. The number of days open (DO) was reduced from 166 to 103 days. The same reduction has been identified in the number of days between the first and the second insemination that was passed from 45 days before the Herd Navigator™ introduction, to 28 days.. Another important value was the 80% reduction in the number of days required to identify an abortion (from 31 to 6 days). The preliminary results obtained confirm the usefulness of the system for the reproduction management. A model was developed using literature and commercial data to evaluate the potential economic benefits of the introduction of this technology. The model considers the benefits deriving from the decrease of reproduction problems and the reduction of days open. Considering the effects related to the above aspects, in a case study involving 70 dairy cows a 5 year time of investment return has been calculated. In the fifth trial, it was developed a low-cost GPS/GSM collar, using commercial hardware and implementing specific software, to track animals’ movements within a grazing area and get alert from animals’ trespassing of virtual fences. A Phase I study was conducted from September 2008 to June 2009 to build the GPS/GSM collar, while a Phase II study was conducted in July 2009 to test the GPS collar under real operating conditions. The GPS/GSM collar production costs did not exceed € 1.000, including software and labour required for its construction. Field tests highlighted the potentiality of the GPS/GSM collar as anti-theft system. Battery life was the most limiting factor of the system due to the high power consumption of the GPS receiver and the high frequency GPS sampling (30-s intervals) required by anti-theft monitoring. The aims of the last trial were study and evaluate a new system for the epidemiological monitoring in a flock. The OVItrace collar was a GPS / GPRS device connected to the management software. The system tracks and traces the path of the flock in real time. An OVItrace collar was placed onto a donkey in a flock. During the test stability and functionality of the system were verified. In particular, a number of 1563 location data has been recorded, with the exact definition of the location and the flock identification. Position requests were sent either via software (web-app) or via smartphone. In both cases the collar has promptly sent the position, ensuring a quick test for the field epidemiological analysis. However the OVItrace gives a number of further information in real time of the flock’s path. The OVItrace collar use can be considered a good system for the epidemiological monitoring.
|Titolo:||IMPROVING ANIMAL WELFARE, ANIMAL PRODUCTION QUALITY AND FOOD SAFETY WITH ADVANCED SENSOR SYSTEMS|
|Supervisori e coordinatori interni:||SAVOINI, GIOVANNI|
|Data di pubblicazione:||19-feb-2013|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore AGR/09 - Meccanica Agraria|
|Citazione:||IMPROVING ANIMAL WELFARE, ANIMAL PRODUCTION QUALITY AND FOOD SAFETY WITH ADVANCED SENSOR SYSTEMS ; tutor: M. Lazzari ; coordinatore: G.Savoini ; direttore: V. Bontempo. - Milano : Università degli studi di Milano. UNIVERSITA' DEGLI STUDI DI MILANO, 2013 Feb 19. ((25. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2012.|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.13130/marchesi-gabriele_phd2013-02-19|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Tesi di dottorato|