On the use of 3D camera to accurately measure volume and weight of dairy cow feed
Keywords:dairy cow feed, 3D camera, volume measurements, distance measurements
The paper discusses the challenges facing the dairy industry due to increased farm sizes and reduced staff-to-animal ratios, which are impacting animal welfare. The development of precision livestock farming (PLF) technologies has gained momentum to address these challenges. PLF technologies can assess animal welfare and health status by monitoring animal behavior and biological changes, and alerting farmers of any issues. However, the applicability of PLF tools in other productive phases of the dairy cattle is still limited. The article focuses on the challenges of managing unweaned dairy calves, particularly the variability in relation to when calves start consuming solid feed, and how PLF technologies can be used to monitor individual calf intake and manage weaning at the individual level. The attention is mainly focused on the advantages of using automated feeders for unweaned dairy calves, including labor savings, greater precision in measurement and control of individual intake of liquid and solid feed, and higher preweaning growth rates. In particular, a method is proposed, involving a 3D depth camera and a proper algorithm to measure the volume and weight of eaten feed. The method is preliminarily assessed in tests conducted in laboratory, which highlight a remarkable concurrence (differences as low as 2 %) with respect to nominal values.
Copyright (c) 2023 Alessio Cotticelli, Maria Teresa Verde, Annalisa Liccardo, Giorgio de Alteriis, Francesco Lamonaca, Roberta Matera, Gianluca Neglia, Tanja Peric, Alberto Prandi, Francesco Bonavolontà
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).