Automatic measurement of touch and release angles of the fetlock joint for lameness detection in dairy cattle using vision techniques

A Pluk, C Bahr, A Poursaberi, W Maertens, Annelies Van Nuffel, D Berckmans

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    Uittreksel

    This paper describes a synchronized measurement system combining image and pressure data to automatically record the angle of the metacarpus and metatarsus bones of the cow with respect to a vertical line, which is useful for lameness detection in dairy cattle. A camera system was developed to record the posture and movement of the cow and the timing and position of hoof placement and release were recorded using a pressure sensitive mat. Experiments with the automatic system were performed continuously on a farm in Ghent (Belgium) for 5 wk in September and October 2009. In total, 2,219 measurements were performed on 75 individual lactating Holstein cows. As a reference for the analysis of the calculated variables, the locomotion of the cows was visually scored from recorded videos by a trained observer into 3 classes of lameness [53.5% were scored with gait score (GS)1, 33.3% were scored with GS2, and 9.3% were scored with GS3]. The contact data of the pressure mat and the camera images recorded by the system were synchronized and combined to measure different angles of the legs of the cows, together with the range of motion of the leg. Significant differences were found between the different gait scores in the release angles of the front hooves, in the range of motion of the front hooves, and in the touch angles of the hind hooves. The contact data of the pressure mat and the camera images recorded by the system were synchronized and combined to measure different angles of the legs of the cows, together with the range of motion of the leg. With respect to the classification of lameness, the range of motion of the front hooves (42.1 and 42.8%) and the release angle of the front hooves (41.7 and 42.0%) were important variables. In 83.3% of the cows, a change in GS led to an increase in within-cow variance for the range of motion or the release angle of the front hooves. In 76.2% of the cows, an increase in GS led to a decrease in range of motion or an increase in release angle of the front hooves.
    TaalEngels
    TijdschriftJournal of Dairy Science
    Volume95
    Exemplaarnummer4
    Pagina's (van-tot)1738-48
    Aantal pagina's11
    ISSN0022-0302
    DOI's
    StatusGepubliceerd - 2012

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