Research opportunities in environment control of confined animal housing systems through precision livestock farming
Description: Environment control in confined animal housing systems is typically based on heat and moisture production rates at predetermined ambient temperature levels measured between 1950 and 1980 (ASABE and ASHRAE Standards). This traditional method can fall short in meeting the true thermal needs of the animals as it does not account for factors, such as humidity, drafts, radiation, physiological state, and social interactions, now acknowledged as affecting the animal’s productive responses to surrounding conditions. Meanwhile, advancements in animal genetics, nutrition, and management practices have likely led to considerable changes in sensible and latent heat loads of modern livestock buildings. Therefore, there is a need to update heat and moisture production data for proper design of ventilation and heating systems and to develop multi-factor animal comfort indices for supporting rational environmental management decisions. In this context, precision livestock farming technologies (sensors, detectors, cameras, microphones, etc.), enabling a continuous, automatic monitoring of meteorological (temperature, relative humidity, and air speed at the animal level), environmental (air quality), physiological (body temperature or weight, respiration or heart rate, and milk or egg yield), and behavioural (activity, movement, and feed and water intake) variables, can be used to assess livestock performance and well-being. The latter has become an irreversible focal point of consumers, thus livestock producers will be under increasing pressure to adopt animal welfare indices to secure their market share.
Keywords: livestock; housing; environment control; smart farming; sensors.
Conference name: CSBE/SCGAB 2016 Annual Conference, Halifax, 3-6 July 2016.
Session name: Session 2C: Structures and Indoor Environments
Citation: . 2016. Research opportunities in environment control of confined animal housing systems through precision livestock farming. CSBE/SCGAB 2016 Annual Conference, Halifax, 3-6 July 2016.
Publisher: Canadian Society for Bioengineering
Language 1: en
Rights: Canadian Society for Bioengineering