Transforming the adaptation physiology of farm animals through sensors

Neethirajan, Suresh


Despite recent scientific advancements, there is a gap in the use of technology to measure signals, behaviors, and processes of adaptation physiology of farm animals. Sensors present exciting opportunities for sustained, real-time, non-intrusive measurement of farm animal behavioral, mental, and physiological parameters with the integration of nanotechnology and instrumentation. This paper critically reviews the sensing technology and sensor data-based models used to explore biological systems such as animal behavior, energy metabolism, epidemiology, immunity, health, and animal reproduction. The use of sensor technology to assess physiological parameters can provide tremendous benefits and tools to overcome and minimize production losses while making positive contributions to animal welfare. Of course, sensor technology is not free from challenges; these devices are at times highly sensitive and prone to damage from dirt, dust, sunlight, color, fur, feathers, and environmental forces. Rural farmers unfamiliar with the technologies must be convinced and taught to use sensor-based technologies in farming and livestock management. While there is no doubt that demand will grow for non-invasive sensor-based technologies that require minimum contact with animals and can provide remote access to data, their true success lies in the acceptance of these technologies by the livestock industry.