PhD Defence: Happy Healthy Cow

PhD Defence of J. Scheurwater


Summary of dissertation

This thesis is about the use of sensor data to get more insight into the welfare and health of dairy cows. Sensors could provide information about the behaviour of each individual animal 24/7, not only when housed in a stable but also outside in the field. In Chapters 2 and 3, commercially available sensors around the leg and neck are used to measure the time a cow spent eating, ruminating, lying, walking and standing. Chapter 2 demonstrates that in the temperate maritime climate of the Netherlands, a climatic temperature above 12°C leads to heat stress and a change in behaviour of cows. In Chapter 3, it is shown that cow introductions in dairy herds negatively affect milk production and the behaviour of the other animals already in the herd. Chapters 4 and 5, focus on the development of a sensor measuring pressure and temperature inside the stomach of a cow. A properly contracting forestomach complex is very important for the health of dairy cows. With such a sensor, behaviours such as rumination can be detected, based on the contraction patterns of the stomach. The sensor provides a reliable instrument to measure drinking and changes in drinking patterns in detail as well. Sensors can be valuable tools to monitor cows continuously on a large scale during their normal behaviour and generate data that can be used to learn more about the health and happiness of dairy cows.

Start date and time
End date and time
The Academiegebouw (Domplein 29) and digital
PhD candidate
J. Scheurwater
Happy Healthy Cow
PhD supervisor(s)
prof. dr. ir. J.A.P. Heesterbeek
prof. dr. M. Nielen
dr. H. Aardema
dr. J. van den Broek