Using Technology to Automatically Measure Social Behaviour

A new study, just published in the May issue of Journal of Dairy Science, explains how an electronic feed monitoring system, originally designed to record aspects of feeding behavior such as intake and time spent eating, can now be used to also estimate the number of competitive interactions that occur at the feed bunk. Competition occurs when there is not enough space for all cows to feed at the same time or when one cow wants to eat from the same location that another cow is already occupying. In this study, researchers focused on the time from when a cow left a bin until another cow entered that same bin; very short intervals are closely associated with a competitive interaction at the feed bunk.

Click on the link to see a video example of a competitive interaction between dairy cows

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