Evaluation of Wearable Cameras for Monitoring and Analyzing Calf Behavior
Research Aspects in Agriculture and Veterinary Science Vol. 4,
10 November 2021
Understanding cattle behavior is important for discerning their health and management status. However, manual observations of cattle are time-consuming and labor-intensive. Moreover, during manual observations, the presence or position of a human observer may alter the normal behavior of the cattle. Wearable cameras are small and lightweight; therefore, they do not disturb cattle behavior when attached to their bodies. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the suitability of wearable cameras for monitoring and analyzing cattle behavior. From December 18 to 27, 2017, this study used four 2-month-old, group-housed Holstein calves at the Field Science Center of the Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Japan. Calf behavior was recorded every 30 s using a wearable camera (HX-A1H, Panasonic, Japan) from 10:00 to 15:30 and observed directly from 11:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 15:00. In addition, the same observer viewed the camera recordings corresponding to the direct observation periods, and the results were compared. The correlation coefficients of all behavioral data from direct and wearable camera video observations were significant (p < 0.01). For the wearable cameras used in our experiment, there is an entrapment risk as the halter expands around the cameras. Therefore, considering their welfare, calves need to be regularly welfare-checked by an individual. We conclude that wearable cameras are suitable for observing calf behavior, particularly their posture (standing or lying), as well as their ruminating and feeding behaviors.
- behavioral observations
- wearable camera