Wednesday, 07 July 2021 10:30

Cow sleep science

Written by  Milking It

OPINION: AgResearch scientists are pushing boundaries to see how much quality sleep cows are getting.

Joining forces with Scotland's Rural College in Edinburgh, including joint PhD student Laura Hunter, AgResearch used sensor devices placed on the cows to take measurements during their sleep, monitoring things such as their neck muscle activity and heart rates, to compare with the gold standard EEG (electroencephalogram) for brain activity.

They took this muscle and heart rate data from six cows in both housed and pasture systems, and applied machine learning (a branch of Artificial Intelligence) models to make predictions about what the muscle and heart rate data means for the cows' different sleep stages.

The hope is that the insights from this trial could potentially tell them more about overall animal welfare.

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