Project Number: 5090-31000-026-04-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jun 26, 2016
End Date: Jun 25, 2021
To evaluate automated applications of intellectual property (IP) developed by Cooperator for: 1) real-time automated monitoring of in vitro fermentation to assess the impact of protein x carbohydrate on the production of methane and the rate of fermentation; and 2) real-time automated monitoring and interpretation of cow behavior relevant to animal management.
Cooperator designed a fermentation system that quantitatively detects methane, carbon dioxide, and gas pressure in the head space and pH in the media of sealed, anaerobic fermentation vesssels. ARS will travel to the Cooperator research site and use substrates to evaluate the impact of protein level vs. carbohydrate on alteration of the gas profile produced by mixed ruminal microbes over time to determine the applicability of the system to such research. A video/computer learning system designed to obtain and interpret animal behavior data on commercial dairy farms will be evaluated for accuracy of data interpretation and for its potential to directly measure dry matter intake of cows and diet characteristics. This video system will record the behavior of a herd of cows in a free-stall barn, particularly feeding behavior, and the particle size/texture of diets provided. Physical measures of particle size of the diet and computer-recorded behaviors will be integrated to determine potential for using this video system to report and record animal behavior and feed intake.