Abstract #80

# 80
Automated detection of estrus using multiple commercial precision dairy farming technologies in synchronized dairy cows.
L. M. Mayo*1, W. J. Silvia1, G. Heersche1, I. C. Tsai1, B. A. Wadsworth1, A. E. Stone1, J. M. Bewley1, 1Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.

Detecting dairy cattle estrus helps determine optimal breeding time. Dairy cattle estrus varies in length and intensity, increasing the need for accurate and continuous estrous detection. The objective of this study was to evaluate precision dairy farming technologies (PDFT) for estrous detection. The estrous detection efficiency of PDFT is predicted to be greater than traditional visual observation of estrus. Estrus was synchronized in 24 lactating Holstein dairy cows using a modified G7G-Ovsynch protocol (last GnRH injection withheld to permit expression of estrus) beginning 45 to 85 DIM. Resumption of ovarian cyclicity at enrollment, presence of a corpus luteum (CL) on the day of the final injection (designated experimental day 0), regression of the CL by d 5, and presence of a new CL on d 11 were verified by transrectal ultrasonography. Cows were observed for estrous behaviors for 30 min, 4X per day, on days 2 to 5. Blood samples were collected on d −2, −1, 0, 1, 2, 5, 7, 9, and 11 to quantify progesterone to verify luteal regression and ovulation. Potential periods of estrus (gold standard) were defined by the temporal pattern of progesterone (>1.0 ng/mL on d −2, −1 and 0, <1.0 ng/mL on d 2, and >1.0 ng/mL on d 9 and 11). Detection of estrus by PDFTs, an estrous behavioral scoring system, and by visual observation of standing estrus were compared to the gold standard (Table 1). Sensitivity and specificity for detection of estrus was similar among all PDFT. Only 56% of cows that ovulated were observed standing by visual estrous detection. All systems tested are capable of detecting estrus at least as effectively as visual observation. Table 1. Detection of estrus using alerts generated by PDFT1 and visual observation (n=24)
Detection methodTPFPTNFNSensitivity (%)Specificity (%)
Afimilk AfiAct Pedometer Plus1606289100
GEA CowScout (leg version)1506383100
ENGS Track A Cow1406478100
Agis SensoOr1406478100
Estrus behavioral score2121566783
Standing behavior1006856100
1Sensitivity = TP/(TP + FN) and specificity = TN/(TN + FP); where TP = true positive, TN = true negative, FP = false positive, and FN = false negative. 2Scoring system as defined by Van Eerdenburg et al. (1996).

Key Words: automated estrus detection, precision dairy technology, estrous behavior