Behavioral Research Blog

Four cool cow facts

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Nov 26, 2015

The investigation of movement, activity, and behavior of animals in pens or stables gives great insight into differences between group and individual housing, enriched and plain stables, different types of feeding systems, and so on. Read this blog to learn more about that, but also about cow behavior in paddocks.

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Topics: GPS, Precision farming, TrackLab, Cows, tracking

Standing cows

Posted by Andrew Spink on Sep 25, 2013

Does it matter how much time a cow spends standing up or lying down?  Bert Tolkamp thought that it did matter, and last week he proved his point by winning an IgNobel prize [1] for his work on this [2]. He attached a sensor to the legs of some cows and measured tens of thousands of episodes of lying and standing. His findings were at first sight puzzling and on reflection, revealing (hence the prize). If a cow was lying for a long time, it was more likely to stand up, but it if had been standing for a long time, it was not more likely to lie down.

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Topics: animal welfare, GPS, Precision farming, TrackLab, Cows

The future of farming

Posted by Andrew Spink on Aug 9, 2013

Precision farming
GPS has always seemed to me to be a kind of magic technology.  The idea that a grid of satellites so far above my head that I cannot even see them can tell me exactly where I am and help give me directions where to go is pretty stupendous. And you do not even have to pay for the information! GPS is such a powerful technology that it is being applied to a great diversity of areas. One example is precision agriculture. For instance, if you are growing crops, they will often need water, pesticides and fertilizer.  If you don’t give them enough they will have a reduced yield and if you give them too much you spend too much money and you might cause pollution. The image on the right [1] shows a crop that needs watering.  But only the red areas are dry. So if that data is fed into a GIS databank and that is coupled to a GPS receiver on the irrigation system, the farmer will know precisely where to give water (or chemicals) so that the crop gets the right amount and there is minimal waste and runoff.


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Topics: animal behavior research, behavioral patterns, animal welfare, GPS, Precision farming, TrackLab, tracking, foraging behavior, precision agriculture

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