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Farmers' preferences for automatic lameness-detection systems in dairy cattle

(2017) JOURNAL OF DAIRY SCIENCE. 100(7). p.5746-5757
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Abstract
As lameness is a major health problem in dairy herds, a lot of attention goes to the development of automated lameness-detection systems. Few systems have made it to the market, as most are currently still in development. To get these systems ready for practice, developers need to define which system characteristics are important for the farmers as end users. In this study, farmers' preferences for the different characteristics of proposed lameness-detection systems were investigated. In addition, the influence of sociodemographic and farm characteristics on farmers' preferences was assessed. The third aim was to find out if preferences change after the farmer receives extra information on lameness and its consequences. Therefore, a discrete choice experiment was designed with 3 alternative lameness detection systems: a system attached to the cow, a walkover system, and a camera system. Each system was defined by 4 characteristics: the percentage missed lame cows, the percentage false alarms, the system cost, and the ability to indicate which leg is lame. The choice experiment was embedded in an online survey. After answering general questions and choosing their preferred option in 4 choice sets, extra information on lameness was provided. Consecutively, farmers were shown a second block of 4 choice sets. Results from 135 responses showed that farmers' preferences were influenced by the 4 system characteristics. The importance a farmer attaches to lameness, the interval between calving and first insemination, and the presence of an estrus-detection system contributed significantly to the value a farmer attaches to lameness-detection systems. Farmers who already use an estrus detection system were more willing to use automatic detection systems instead of visual lameness detection. Similarly, farmers who achieve shorter intervals between calving and first insemination and farmers who find lameness highly important had a higher tendency to choose for automatic lameness detection. A sensor attached to the cow was preferred, followed by a walkover system and a camera system. In general, visual lameness detection was preferred over automatic detection systems, but this preference changed after informing farmers about the consequences of lameness. To conclude, the system cost and performance were important features, but dairy farmers should be sensitized on the consequences of lameness and its effect on farm profitability.
Keywords
LACTATING HOLSTEIN COWS, CLINICAL LAMENESS, LOCOMOTION SCORE, FREESTALL, BARNS, RISK-FACTORS, MILK-YIELD, PREVALENCE, TECHNOLOGY, BEHAVIOR, ASSOCIATION, farmer preference, technology adoption, discrete choice, automated, lameness detection

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Chicago
Van De Gucht, T, W Saeys, A Van Nuffel, L Pluym, K Piccart, Ludwig Lauwers, J Vangeyte, and S Van Weyenberg. 2017. “Farmers’ Preferences for Automatic Lameness-detection Systems in Dairy Cattle.” Journal of Dairy Science 100 (7): 5746–5757.
APA
Van De Gucht, T, Saeys, W., Van Nuffel, A., Pluym, L., Piccart, K., Lauwers, L., Vangeyte, J., et al. (2017). Farmers’ preferences for automatic lameness-detection systems in dairy cattle. JOURNAL OF DAIRY SCIENCE, 100(7), 5746–5757.
Vancouver
1.
Van De Gucht T, Saeys W, Van Nuffel A, Pluym L, Piccart K, Lauwers L, et al. Farmers’ preferences for automatic lameness-detection systems in dairy cattle. JOURNAL OF DAIRY SCIENCE. 2017;100(7):5746–57.
MLA
Van De Gucht, T et al. “Farmers’ Preferences for Automatic Lameness-detection Systems in Dairy Cattle.” JOURNAL OF DAIRY SCIENCE 100.7 (2017): 5746–5757. Print.
@article{8526674,
  abstract     = {As lameness is a major health problem in dairy herds, a lot of attention goes to the development of automated lameness-detection systems. Few systems have made it to the market, as most are currently still in development. To get these systems ready for practice, developers need to define which system characteristics are important for the farmers as end users. In this study, farmers' preferences for the different characteristics of proposed lameness-detection systems were investigated. In addition, the influence of sociodemographic and farm characteristics on farmers' preferences was assessed. The third aim was to find out if preferences change after the farmer receives extra information on lameness and its consequences. Therefore, a discrete choice experiment was designed with 3 alternative lameness detection systems: a system attached to the cow, a walkover system, and a camera system. Each system was defined by 4 characteristics: the percentage missed lame cows, the percentage false alarms, the system cost, and the ability to indicate which leg is lame. The choice experiment was embedded in an online survey. After answering general questions and choosing their preferred option in 4 choice sets, extra information on lameness was provided. Consecutively, farmers were shown a second block of 4 choice sets. Results from 135 responses showed that farmers' preferences were influenced by the 4 system characteristics. The importance a farmer attaches to lameness, the interval between calving and first insemination, and the presence of an estrus-detection system contributed significantly to the value a farmer attaches to lameness-detection systems. Farmers who already use an estrus detection system were more willing to use automatic detection systems instead of visual lameness detection. Similarly, farmers who achieve shorter intervals between calving and first insemination and farmers who find lameness highly important had a higher tendency to choose for automatic lameness detection. A sensor attached to the cow was preferred, followed by a walkover system and a camera system. In general, visual lameness detection was preferred over automatic detection systems, but this preference changed after informing farmers about the consequences of lameness. To conclude, the system cost and performance were important features, but dairy farmers should be sensitized on the consequences of lameness and its effect on farm profitability.},
  author       = {Van De Gucht, T and Saeys, W and Van Nuffel, A and Pluym, L and Piccart, K and Lauwers, Ludwig and Vangeyte, J and Van Weyenberg, S},
  issn         = {0022-0302},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF DAIRY SCIENCE},
  keywords     = {LACTATING HOLSTEIN COWS,CLINICAL LAMENESS,LOCOMOTION SCORE,FREESTALL,BARNS,RISK-FACTORS,MILK-YIELD,PREVALENCE,TECHNOLOGY,BEHAVIOR,ASSOCIATION,farmer preference,technology adoption,discrete choice,automated,lameness detection},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7},
  pages        = {5746--5757},
  title        = {Farmers' preferences for automatic lameness-detection systems in dairy cattle},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2016-12285},
  volume       = {100},
  year         = {2017},
}

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