- Volume 18 Issue 6
DOI QR Code
Quantification of Pre-parturition Restlessness in Crated Sows Using Ultrasonic Measurement
- Wang, J.S. (Department of Electrical Engineering, National Cheng-Kung University) ;
- Huang, Y.S. (Department of Electrical Engineering, National Cheng-Kung University) ;
- Wu, M.C. (Taiwan Livestock Research Institute) ;
- Lai, Y.Y. (Taiwan Livestock Research Institute) ;
- Chang, H.L. (National Pingtung University of Science and Technology) ;
- Young, M.S. (Department of Electrical Engineering, National Cheng-Kung University)
- Received : 2004.05.27
- Accepted : 2004.11.15
- Published : 2005.06.01
This study presents a non-video, non-invasive, automatic, on-site monitoring system the system employs ultrasonic transducers to detect behavior in sows before, during and after parturition. An ultrasonic transmitting/receiving (T/R) circuit of 40 kHz was mounted above a conventional parturition bed. The T/R units use ultrasonic time-of-flight (TOF) ranging technology to measure the height of the confined sows at eight predetermined locations. From this data, three momentary postures of the sow are determined, characterized as standing-posture (SP), lateral-lying-posture (LLP) and sitting posture (STP). By examining the frequencies of position switch Stand-Up-Sequence (SUS) between standing-posture (SP), lateral-lying-posture (LLP) and sitting-posture (STP) rate can be determined for the duration of the sow' confinement. Three experimental pureblooded Landrace sows undergoing normal gestation were monitored for the duration of confinement. In agreement with common observation, the sows exhibited increased restlessness as parturition approached. Analysis of the data collected in our study showed a distinct peak in Stand-Up-Sequence (SUS, i.e. the transition from lying laterally to standing up ) and sitting-posture (STP) rate approximately 12 h prior to parturition, the observed peak being 5 to 10 times higher than observed on any other measurement day. It is concluded that the presented methodology is a robust, low-cost, lowlabor method for the continuous remote monitoring of sows and similar large animals for parturition and other behavior. It is suggested that the system could be applied to automatic prediction of sow parturition, with automatic notification of remote management personnel so human attendance at birth could reduce rates of sow and piglet mortality. The results of this study provide a good basis for enhancing automation and reducing costs in large-scale sow husbandry and have applications in the testing of various large mammals for the effects of medications, diets, genetic modifications and environmental factors.
Sows;Parturition;Ultrasonic Transducers;Animal Husbandry
Supported by : National Cheng-Kung University
- Breeveld-Dwarkasing, V. N. A., P. C. Struijk, F. Eijkoot, F. K. Lotgering, F. M. F. van Dissel-Emiliani, G. C. van der Weyden and M. A. M. Taverne. 2002. Ultrasonic cervimetry to study the dilatation of the caudal cervix of the cow at parturition. Theriogenology 57:1989-2002.
- Khan, J. R. and R. S. Ludri. 2002. Changes in Maternal Blood Glucose and Plasma Non-Esterified Fatty Acid during Pregnancy and around Parturition in Twin and Single Fetus Bearing Crossbred Goats. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 15(4):504-508.
- Ramirez, A., A. Quiles and M. Sotillo. 1995. Behavior of the Murciano-Granadina goat in the hour before parturition. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 44:29-35.
- Liu, T. J. and M. S. Young. 2002. Eliminating contaminant with a piezoelectric transducer in the design of low-cost smart kitchen range hoods. J. IEEE Sensor. 2:314-321.
- Knight, T. W., A. F. Death and T. K. Wyeth. 1995. Photoperiodic control of the time of parturition in alpacas (Lama pacos). Anim. Reprod. Sci. 39:259-265.
- Pinheiro Machado, F. L., C. J. F. Hurnik and G. J. King. 1997. Timing of the attraction towards the placenta and amniotic fluid by the parturient cow. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 53:183-192.
- Ryu, Y-H., J.-Y. Yang, D.-S. Seo and Y. Ko. 2003. Effect of Serum IGF-I on Progesterone Concentration during Early Pregnancy in Korean Native Cattle (Hanwoo). Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 16(1):176-179.
- Pedersen, L. J., M. Studnitz, K. H. Jensen and A. M. Giersing. 1998. Suckling behaviour of piglets in relation to accessibility to the sow and presence foreign litters. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 58:267-279.
- Gilbert, C. L., A. B. Lawrence, M. L. Forsling, J. A. Goode, T. J. McGrath, K. A. McLean and J. C. Petherick. 1996. Maternal plasma vasopressin, oxytocin and cortisol concentrations following foetal ejection in the pig. Anim. Reprod. Sci. 43:137-150.
- Randall, G. C. B. 1972. Observations on parturition in the sow. I. Factors associated with the delivery of the piglets and their subsequent behavior. Vet. Rec. 90:178.
- Nagaoka, K., H. Yamaguchi, H. Aida, K. Yoshioka, M. Takahashi, R. K. Christenson, K. Imakawa and S. Sskai. 2000. Implantation in Ruminants: Changes in Pre-Implantation, Maternal Recognition of Pregnancy, Control of Attachment and Invasion. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 12(6):845-855.
- Carullo, A. and M. Parvis. 2001. An ultrasonic sensor for distance measurement in automotive applications. J. IEEE Sensors. 1:143-147.
- Young, M. S., C. W. Young and Y. C. Li. 2000. A combined system for measuring motion activities. J. Neuroscience Methods 95:55-63.
- Gilbert, C. L., M. I. Boulton, J. A. Goode and T. J. McGrath. 2000. The timing of parturition in the pig is altered by intravenous naloxone. Theriogenology 53:905-923.
- Huang, C. F. and M. S. Young. 1999. Multiple-frequency continuous wave ultrasonic system for accurate distance measurement. Rev. Sci. Instru. 70:1452-1458. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.1149604
- Singh, N. S., P. G. Gawande, O. P Mishra, R. K. Nema, U. K. Mishra and Mohan Singh. 2004. Accuracy of Ultrasonography in Early Pregnancy Diagnosis in Doe. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 17(6):760-768.
- Wechsler, B. and D. Hegglin. 1997. Individual differences in behaviour of sows at the nest-site and the crushing of piglets. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 51:39-49.