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Miekley B.,Institute of Animal Breeding and Husbandry | Stamer E.,TiDa Tier und Daten GmbH | Traulsen I.,Institute of Animal Breeding and Husbandry | Krieter J.,Institute of Animal Breeding and Husbandry
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2013

This study analyzed the methodology and applicability of multivariate cumulative sum (MCUSUM) charts for early mastitis and lameness detection. Data used were recorded on the Karkendamm dairy research farm, Germany, between August 2008 and December 2010. Data of 328 and 315 cows in their first 200. d in milk were analyzed for mastitis and lameness detection, respectively. Mastitis as well as lameness was specified according to veterinary treatments. Both diseases were defined as disease blocks. Different disease definitions for mastitis and lameness (2 for mastitis and 3 for lameness) varied solely in the sequence length of the blocks. Only the days before the treatment were included in the disease blocks. Milk electrical conductivity, milk yield, and feeding patterns (feed intake, number of trough visits, and feeding time) were used for the recognition of mastitis. Pedometer activity and feeding patterns were used for lameness detection. To exclude biological trends and obtain independent observations, the values of each input variable were either preprocessed by wavelet filters or a multivariate vector autoregressive model. The residuals generated between the observed and filtered or observed and forecast values, respectively, were then transferred to a classic or self-starting MCUSUM chart. The combination of the 2 preprocessing methods with each of the 2 MCUSUM sum charts resulted in 4 combined monitoring systems. For mastitis as well as lameness detection requiring a block sensitivity of at least 70%, all 4 of the combined monitoring systems used revealed similar results within each of the disease definitions. Specificities of 73 to 80% and error rates of 99.6% were achieved for mastitis. The results for lameness showed that the definitions used obtained specificities of up to 81% and error rates of 99.1%. The results indicate that the monitoring systems with these study characteristics have appealing features for mastitis and lameness detection. However, they are not yet directly applicable for practical implementations. © 2013 American Dairy Science Association.

Weber A.,University of Kiel | Stamer E.,TiDa Tier und Daten GmbH | Junge W.,University of Kiel | Thaller G.,University of Kiel
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2013

Lameness in dairy cows is a serious welfare and economic problem in dairy production. The majority of all lameness cases seem to stem from claw and leg diseases. Indirect selection on claw health potentially might be feasible with lameness as indicator trait. Therefore, the genetic parameters for the 2 traits were estimated by applying both linear and threshold models. In addition, the impact of environmental effects, parity, and stage of lactation was analyzed. In total, 8,299 locomotion scores (1-5) of 326 dairy cows and 708 claw and leg disease diagnoses or treatments of 335 dairy cows from the dairy research farm Karkendamm (Institute of Animal Breeding and Husbandry, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, Germany) were analyzed. Lameness was defined by a locomotion score of ≥3. Days in milk were limited to the range of 10 to 350. d. To quantify the effect of the claw disease digital dermatitis, a second data set without this disease was built; 52.8 and 36.4% (without digital dermatitis) of the cows were treated at least once; 47.2% of the cows were clinically lame at least at one time. Genetic parameters were estimated bivariately using the average information restricted maximum likelihood procedure as implemented in the DMU software package. The heritability estimates derived from the threshold model were about twice as large as the values based on the linear model. For lameness, the threshold heritability increased from 0.15 to 0.22 and decreased for the diseases from 0.24 to 0.22 after exclusion of digital dermatitis. The genetic correlations were high and even increased from 0.60 to 0.72 after the exclusion of digital dermatitis, which suggests that lameness (locomotion score) seems to be a good indicator for claw and leg diseases. Digital dermatitis seems to affect the mobility of the dairy cow less strongly than other claw and leg diseases. © 2013 American Dairy Science Association.

Kern G.,University of Kiel | Kemper N.,University of Kiel | Traulsen I.,University of Kiel | Henze C.,University of Kiel | And 2 more authors.
Small Ruminant Research | Year: 2010

The lifetime performance of female sheep is one of the most important economic traits in sheep husbandry. In this investigation, a Weibull model was used to study the effects of 'breed', 'number of lambings', 'age at first lambing', 'type of birth' and 'farm' on the length of productive life (LPL). The data included records of 5191 female sheep of four different breeds on 236 breeding farms in northern Germany. The observation period in which the sheep were born or were removed from the farm ranged from January 2003 to December 2007. About 12% of the records were right-censored. All variables had a significant effect on LPL at a level of p < 0.001 except 'type of birth'. The German Blackheaded Mutton breed showed the lowest risk ratio with 0.77 (SE = 0.17), while the Texel had the highest hazard rate (1.00). The relative culling risk initially decreased from the first (5.73, SE = 0.09) to the seventh lambing (0.36, SE = 0.12), and then increased until lambing number nine. The highest relative culling risk was calculated at an age of 395 to less than 455 days at first lambing (1.00). Animals younger than 395 days at first lambing showed the lowest risk ratio (0.56, SE = 0.05). The culling risk for the effect 'farm' ranged from 0.3 to 3.1. A differentiation of environmental, housing or management effects was not feasible with this data. But the results offer some interesting options for further studies. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Kruse S.,University of Kiel | Stamer E.,TiDa Tier und Daten GmbH | Traulsen I.,University of Kiel | Krieter J.,University of Kiel
Livestock Science | Year: 2011

The aim of the present research was to analyse the relation between the traits feed (FI), water intake (WI), water-to-feed ratio (WFR) and weight of sow (WS) during pregnancy. Data were recorded at the Hohenschulen research farm of the Institute of Animal Breeding and Husbandry of the University of Kiel between April 2007 and June 2008. The sow herd had a size of 90 sows (Large White, German Landrace and their crossbreeds). In total about 8500 observations were available. The average feed, water intake, water-to-feed ratio and weight of sow were 2.9kgd-1, 16.7ld-1, 5.8l (kgd)-1 and 219.1kg, respectively. Parity class had a significant influence on water and feed intake (p<0.05). Nulliparous sows had a constant water intake until day 80 of pregnancy. Thereafter water intake increased until the end of pregnancy. Water intake of primiparous sows increased at the beginning and end of pregnancy. The feed intake curves started without variation between sows at the beginning of the observation period. An increase was observed at the end of pregnancy. Weight of sow increased during pregnancy. Nulliparous sows had the highest weight gain and multiparous sows the lowest (39.0kg and 23.8kg respectively). Repeatabilities with the fixed regression model varied between 0.56 (FI) and 0.68 (WS). Using random regression the repeatability of feed intake increased continuously over the course of pregnancy from 0.35 to 0.75 indicating that the variance between sows at the beginning was lower than at the end of pregnancy. The repeatabilities of water intake enhanced from 0.57 to 0.75. The correlations between feed and water intake were constant until day 60 of pregnancy. The relationship decreased at the end of pregnancy due to feed adaptation. A negative relationship was found between feed intake and weight of sow but the value increased over the course of pregnancy. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

SCHEFFLER K.,University of Kiel | STAMER E.,TiDa Tier und Daten GmbH | TRAULSEN I.,University of Kiel | KRIETER J.,University of Kiel
Journal of Agricultural Science | Year: 2016

The mixing of pigs unacquainted with each other in commercial pig production is a standard procedure which leads to agonistic interactions with a wide range of individual pig behaviour. Hence, the aims of the present study were to assess the heritabilities of agonistic behaviour and to estimate correlations between three different age groups (weaned pigs n = 1111, growing pigs n = 446 and breeding gilts n = 279). The behavioural observation analysis included a period of 17 h directly after mixing as weaned pigs, growing pigs and breeding gilts (220 days of age) whereby the following agonistic traits were observed: number of fights (NF), duration of fights (DF), initiated fights (IF), received fights (RF), fights won (FW) and fights lost (FL). The behaviour of the weaned and growing pigs was significantly influenced by cross-fostering, their weight at mixing and litter attributes. Cross-fostered animals showed fewer agonistic interactions as weaned pigs and as growing pigs than non-cross-fostered animals. The influence of weight revealed that heavier pigs had a higher NF score at weaning and as growing pigs. The random litter effect explained up to 0·08 of the total variance in weaned and 0·04 in growing pigs, whereby this could partly be explained by litter size. Pigs from larger litters tended to have more agonistic interactions. The heritabilities of the recorded traits were at a low to medium level but similar between the age groups. There were high correlations between NF and all other traits in weaned pigs. The trait IF showed that the more fights a pig initiated, the more it won. This was also found for growing pigs and breeding gilts. The relationships between the age groups provided no uniform trend. The phenotypic correlations were low and the genetic correlations varied widely, partly due to the small sample size. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016

Scheffler K.,University of Kiel | Stamer E.,TiDa Tier und Daten GmbH | Traulsen I.,University of Kiel | Krieter J.,University of Kiel
Applied Animal Behaviour Science | Year: 2014

The most recent development in pig production has focused increasingly on the well-being of the individual pig and animal-friendly housing conditions, i.e. the launch of the group housing of sows in the EU. In this regard, however, standard procedures which may be stressful to the animals and thus have an impact on their health and welfare (i.e. mixing, iron injections, vaccinations) are undertaken in all commercial farm production. Therefore, there is a need to assess individual pig behaviour in such situations and furthermore to take into consideration differences related to age. Hence, in this study, pigs were evaluated for their response to two standardised stress situations-the backtest and the human approach test. The data were collected on one research farm using German Landrace, Large White and crossbred pigs. The backtest (n=1382) was performed on pigs at 12 and 19 days of age and the number of escape attempts (NEA), the duration of escape attempts (DEA) and the latency to the first escape attempt (LEA) were recorded. Additionally, the human approach test was performed four times with weaned pigs (n=1317) and once with gilts (n=272) while recording the latency (LC) of the pigs to touch the human. The heritabilities of the different traits were estimated univariately and correlations between all observed variables were obtained from bivariate analyses with the average information-restricted, maximum-likelihood procedure as implemented in the DMU software package. The random litter effect had the largest impact on the LEA backtest variable (15%). Smaller values for NEA and DEA were obtained. The LEA backtest variable and the LC variable of the human approach test of weaned pigs and gilts were not influenced by the litter effect. The highest heritability was estimated for LEA (h2=0.29) and NEA (h2=0.19), followed by DEA (h2=0.10) and the heritability of the human LC approach test variable of weaned pigs was similar with h2=0.20. However, the heritability of the LC of gilts was low (h2=0.03) but the estimation provide no reliable values due to the small number of gilts. The genetic correlations between LEA and DEA were very high (rp=-0.88). Also, the first and second backtests for all variables were highly genetically correlated (rp=0.69-0.90). This means that the variables and the first and second backtests shared the same genetic base. Therefore, performing just one backtest is sufficient for practical breeding purposes. The genetic correlations between four LC human approach test variables of the weaned pigs were very high (rp=0.65-0.87) especially between consecutive tests. Hence, under practical conditions, the performance of one human approach test might be sufficient since the behaviour shown in all the human approach tests with weaned pigs depended on the same genetic base. The genetic correlations between backtest variables and human approach test variables of weaned pigs and gilts were very low, which indicates that both tests partly measure different behavioural patterns and that the reactions of the pigs in the tests were not related. © 2014 .

Scheffler K.,University of Kiel | Stamer E.,TiDa Tier und Daten GmbH | Traulsen I.,University of Kiel | Krieter J.,University of Kiel
Applied Animal Behaviour Science | Year: 2016

Fighting among pigs is a normal behavioural pattern to establish a stable rank order. Enhanced aggressive behaviour in pigs in groups lead to increasing stress and injuries especially in mixing situations used as a common procedure in modern pig production systems. In such systems, it is usually not possible to avoid re-housing with unacquainted conspecifics. Hence, due to the lavish analysis of direct or video observations of the agonistic interactions in such mixing situations, there is a necessity to receive easy measurable and practical indicators for predicting individual agonistic behaviour. Possible indicators are standardised behavioural tests such as the backtest and the human approach test. The backtest was performed twice. In each test, the pigs were laid on their backs and held loosely for one minute (n =1382). The number of escape attempts (NEA) was recorded. In addition to this test, a human approach test was performed four times with weaned pigs (n =1318) and once with gilts (n =272). Here, the stockperson recorded the latency of the pigs to approach and touch the person, i.e. the latency count (LC). The agonistic interactions were recorded in a video observation period of 17h while the traits number of fights (NF) and number of initiated fights (IF) were recorded in mixtures of weaned pigs (n =1111), growing pigs (n =446) and gilts (n=279). The estimations of phenotypic and genetic correlations between these different traits were carried out with animal models in bivariate analyses. The IF trait of weaned pigs and NEA were slightly positively correlated (r g =0.18). Pigs which initiated more fights after weaning had more escape attempts in the backtests. However, there were negative genetic correlations between the agonistic interactions traits NF and IF traits and the NEA backtest trait of growing pigs (r g =-0.14 and r g =-0.28). The genetic relation between the agonistic NF and IF traits of weaned pigs and the human approach test LC trait of weaned pigs were on a medium level (r g =-0.50 and r g =-0.45). The genetic correlations between IF and NF of growing pigs and gilts and the human approach test LC trait in weaned pigs were lower but also negatively correlated. Hence, pigs with more NF and IF in mixing had shorter latencies during the human approach tests. Concluding, the backtest and the human approach test might be able to predict the agonistic behaviour of pigs in mixing situations. Nevertheless, the reliability of the predictions of the behavioural tests depends on the age of the pigs at mixing and the previous experiences of these animals. © 2016.

Buttchereit N.,University of Kiel | Stamer E.,TiDa Tier und Daten GmbH | Junge W.,University of Kiel | Thaller G.,University of Kiel
Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics | Year: 2012

Various health problems in dairy cows have been related to the magnitude and duration of the energy deficit post partum. Energy balance indicator traits like fat/protein ratio in milk and body condition score could be used in selection programmes to help predicting breeding values for health traits, but currently there is a lack of appropriate genetic parameters. Therefore, genetic correlations among energy balance, fat/protein ratio, and body condition score, and mastitis, claw and leg diseases, and metabolic disorders were estimated using linear and threshold models on data from 1693 primiparous cows recorded within the first 180days in milk. Average daily energy balance, milk fat/protein ratio and body condition score were 8MJ NEL, 1.13 and 2.94, respectively. Disease frequencies (% cows with at least one case) were 24.6% for mastitis, 9.7% for metabolic disorders and 28.2% for claw and leg diseases. Heritability estimates were 0.06, 0.30 and 0.34 for energy balance, fat/protein ratio and body condition score, respectively. For the disease traits, heritabilities ranged between 0.04 and 0.15. The genetic correlations were, in general, associated with large standard errors, but, although not significant, the results suggest that an improvement of overall health can be expected if energy balance traits are included into future breeding programmes. A low fat/protein ratio might serve as an indicator for metabolic stability and health of claw and legs. Between body condition and mastitis, a significant negative correlation of -0.40 was estimated. The study provides a new insight into the role energy balance traits can play as auxiliary traits for robustness of dairy cows. It was concluded that both, fat/protein ratio and body condition score, are potential variables to describe how well cows can adapt to the challenge of early lactation. However, the genetic parameters should be re-estimated on a more comprehensive data set. © 2011 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

PubMed | University of Kiel and TiDa Tier und Daten GmbH
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The Journal of dairy research | Year: 2015

Laboratory somatic cell count (LSCC) records are usually recorded monthly and provide an important information source for breeding and herd management. Daily milk viscosity detection in composite milking (expressed as drain time) with an automated on-line California Mastitis Test (CMT) could serve immediately as an early predictor of udder diseases and might be used as a selection criterion to improve udder health. The aim of the present study was to clarify the relationship between the well-established LSCS and the new trait,drain time, and to estimate their correlations to important production traits. Data were recorded on the dairy research farm Karkendamm in Germany. Viscosity sensors were installed on every fourth milking stall in the rotary parlour to measure daily drain time records. Weekly LSCC and milk composition data were available. Two data sets were created containing records of 187,692 milkings from 320 cows (D1) and 25,887 drain time records from 311 cows (D2). Different fixed effect models, describing the log-transformed drain time (logDT), were fitted to achieve applicable models for further analysis. Lactation curves were modelled with standard parametric functions (Ali and Schaeffer, Legendre polynomials of second and third degree) of days in milk (DIM). Random regression models were further applied to estimate the correlations between cow effects between logDT and LSCS with further important production traits. LogDT and LSCS were strongest correlated in mid-lactation (r = 0.78). Correlations between logDT and production traits were low to medium. Highest correlations were reached in late lactation between logDT and milk yield (r = -0.31), between logDT and protein content (r = 0.30) and in early as well as in late lactation between logDT and lactose content (r = -0.28). The results of the present study show that the drain time could be used as a new trait for daily mastitis control.

PubMed | University of Kiel and TiDa Tier und Daten GmbH
Type: | Journal: SpringerPlus | Year: 2015

The aim of the paper was to estimate the accuracy of the metrology of an installed indirect on-line sensor system based on the automated California Mastitis Test (CMT) with focus on the prior established device-dependent variation. A sensor calibration was implemented. Therefore, seven sensors were tested with similar trials on the dairy research farm Karkendamm (Germany) on two days in July 2011 and January 2012. Thereby, 18 mixed milk samples from serial dilutions were fourfold recorded at every sensor. For the validation, independent sensor records with corresponding lab somatic cell score records (LSCS) in the period between both trials were used (n=1,357). From these records for each sensor a polynomial regression function was calculated. The predicted SCS (PSCS) was obtained for each sensor with the previously determined regression coefficients. Pearson correlation coefficients between PSCS and LSCS were established for each sensor and ranged between r=0.57 and r=0.67. Comparing the results with the correlation coefficients between the on-line SCS (OSCS) and the LSCS (r=0.20 to 0.57) for every sensor, the calibration showed the tendency to improve the installed sensor system.

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