Article (Scientific journals)
Predicting physiological responses of dairy cows using comprehensive variables
Shu, Hang; Li, Yongfeng; Bindelle, Jérôme et al.
2023In Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 207, p. 107752
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Keywords :
Animal welfare; Interpretability; Precision livestock farming; Predictive modeling; Thermal comfort; Dairy cow; Heat stress; Physiological response
Abstract :
[en] Heat stress is increasingly affecting the production, health, and reproduction of dairy cows. Previous studies used limited variables as predictors of physiological responses, and the developed models poorly predict animal responses in evaporatively cooled environments. The aim of this study was to build machine learning models using comprehensive variables to predict physiological responses of dairy cows raised on an actual dairy farm equipped with sprinklers. Four algorithms including random forests, gradient boosting machines, artificial neural networks (ANN), and regularized linear regression were used to predict respiration rate (RR), vaginal temperature (VT), and eye temperature (ET) with 13 predictor variables from three dimensions: production, cow-related, and environmental factors. The classification performance of the predicted values in recognizing individual heat stress states was compared with commonly used thermal indices. The performance on the testing sets shows that the ANN models yielded the lowest root mean squared error for predicting RR (13.24 breaths/min), VT (0.30 °C), and ET (0.29 °C). The results interpreted with partial dependence plots and Local Interpretable Model-agnostic Explanations show that P.M. measurements and winter calving contributed most to high RR and VT predictions, whereas lying posture, high ambient temperature, and low wind speed contributed most to high ET predictions. When determining the ground-truth heat stress state by the actual RR, the best classification performance was yielded by the predicted RR with an accuracy of 77.7%; when determining the ground-truth heat stress state by the actual VT, the best classification performance was yielded by the predicted VT with an accuracy of 75.3%. This study demonstrates the ability of ANN in predicting physiological responses of dairy cows raised on actual farms with access to sprinklers. Adding more predictors other than meteorological parameters into training could increase predictive performance. Recognizing the heat stress state of individual animals, especially those at the highest risk, based on the predicted physiological responses and their interpretations can inform better heat abatement decisions.
Disciplines :
Life sciences: Multidisciplinary, general & others
Author, co-author :
Shu, Hang  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > TERRA Research Centre ; Agricultural Information Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China
Li, Yongfeng;  Agricultural Information Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China ; AgroBioChem/TERRA, Precision Livestock and Nutrition Unit, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liège, Gembloux, Belgium
Bindelle, Jérôme  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > TERRA Research Centre > Animal Sciences (AS)
Jin, Zhongming;  Agricultural Information Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China
Fang, Tingting;  Institute of Animal Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China
Xing, Mingjie;  Institute of Animal Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China
Guo, Leifeng;  Agricultural Information Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China
Wang, Wensheng;  Agricultural Information Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China
Language :
English
Title :
Predicting physiological responses of dairy cows using comprehensive variables
Publication date :
April 2023
Journal title :
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture
ISSN :
0168-1699
eISSN :
1872-7107
Publisher :
Elsevier B.V.
Volume :
207
Pages :
107752
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Funding text :
This work was supported by the Major Science and Technology Program of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region [ 2020ZD0004 ]; the Key Research and Development Plan of Hebei Province [ 20327202D ]; and the Key Research and Development Plan of Hebei Province [ 20326602D ]. The authors are grateful to Fuyu Sun, Xiaoyang Chen, Qianzi Ren, and Wenju Zhang, as well as Yinxiang dairy farm, for their help in data collection.
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