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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #406454

Research Project: Science and Technologies for the Sustainable Management of Western Rangeland Systems

Location: Range Management Research

Title: Real-time monitoring of grazing cattle using LORA-WAN sensors to improve precision in detecting animal welfare implications via daily distance walked metrics

Author
item NYAMURYEKUNG'E, SHELEMIA - New Mexico State University
item DUFF, GLENN - New Mexico State University
item UTSUMI, SANTIAGO - New Mexico State University
item Estell, Richard - Rick
item MCINTOSH, MATTHEW - New Mexico State University
item FUNK, MICAH - New Mexico State University
item COX, ANDREW - New Mexico State University
item CAO, HUIPING - New Mexico State University
item Spiegal, Sheri
item PEREA, ANDRES - New Mexico State University
item Cibils, Andres

Submitted to: Animals
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/9/2023
Publication Date: 8/16/2023
Citation: Nyamuryekung'E, S., Duff, G.C., Utsumi, S.A., Estell, R.E., McIntosh, M.M., Funk, M., Cox, A., Cao, H., Spiegal, S.A., Perea, A., Cibils, A.F. 2023. Real-time monitoring of grazing cattle using LORA-WAN sensors to improve precision in detecting animal welfare implications via daily distance walked metrics. Animals. 13(16),Article e2641. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13162641.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13162641

Interpretive Summary: Global positioning system (GPS) coordinates can be used to calculate distance traveled by an animal. This metric can be useful both for research purposes and for making decisions regarding livestock management. This study was an effort to determine the accuracy of calculations of distance traveled in real time using animal trackers placed on cattle vs static trackers. Calculations were compared for GPS coordinates alone vs in combination with triaxial accelerometer motion data obtained using Long Range Wide Angle Network sensors. The analyses revealed that GPS in combination with accelerometer motion data improved the accuracy of walking distance calculations for cattle in pastures compared to GPS alone, which could improve the ability to detect immobility and animal wellbeing.

Technical Abstract: Animal welfare monitoring relies on sensor accuracy for detecting changes in animal well-being. We compared the distance calculations based on global positioning system (GPS) data alone or combined with motion data from triaxial accelerometers. The assessment involved static trackers placed outdoors or indoors vs. trackers mounted on cows grazing on pasture. Trackers communicated motion data at 1 min intervals and GPS positions at 15 min intervals for seven days. Daily distance walked was determined using the following: (1) raw GPS data (RawDist), (2) data with erroneous GPS locations removed (CorrectedDist), or (3) data with erroneous GPS locations removed, combined with the exclusion of GPS data associated with no motion reading (CorrectedDist_Act). Distances were analyzed via one-way ANOVA to compare the effects of tracker placement (Indoor, Outdoor, or Animal). No difference was detected between the tracker placement for RawDist. The computation of CorrectedDist differed between the tracker placements. However, due to the random error of GPS measurements, CorrectedDist for Indoor static trackers differed from zero. The walking distance calculated by CorrectedDist_Act differed between the tracker placements, with distances for static trackers not differing from zero. The fusion of GPS and accelerometer data better detected animal welfare implications related to immobility in grazing cattle.