Evaluate new monitoring systems that will be able to assess on an individual level the wellbeing of a sheep on commercial properties.
This work will involve three key measurement areas including: automated condition score, wool cortisol measures that may reflect resilience to stress and image analysis methodologies that will allow identification of animal’s compromised by lameness or flystrike or the identification of animals that deviate markedly from normal body temperature.
In these cases the objective is to automate data collection where possible and to identify technologies that will facilitate these measurements.
Automated measurement of condition score in off-shears animals using image analysis tools will standardise measurement across flocks and will also facilitate calculation of condition score change that could be utilized in the data platform to determine risk.
Measurement of body temperature changes in real time, facilitated through small RFID implants, will allow the identification of animals with a fever and provide priority rankings for treatment as will image analysis for lameness, flystrike and dags.