Detecting Dairy Cow Behavior Using Vision Technology

John McDonagh, Georgios Tzimiropoulos, Kimberley R. Slinger, Zoë J. Huggett, Peter M. Down, Matt J. Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
170 Downloads (Pure)


The aim of this study was to investigate using existing image recognition techniques to predict the behavior of dairy cows. A total of 46 individual dairy cows were monitored continuously under 24 h video surveillance prior to calving. The video was annotated for the behaviors of standing, lying, walking, shuffling, eating, drinking and contractions for each cow from 10 h prior to calving. A total of 19,191 behavior records were obtained and a non-local neural network was trained and validated on video clips of each behavior. This study showed that the non-local network used correctly classified the seven behaviors 80% or more of the time in the validated dataset. In particular, the detection of birth contractions was correctly predicted 83% of the time, which in itself can be an early warning calving alert, as all cows start contractions several hours prior to giving birth. This approach to behavior recognition using video cameras can assist livestock management.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere675
JournalAgriculture (Switzerland)
Issue number7
Early online date17 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2021


  • dairy cows
  • computer vision
  • behaviors
  • monitoring
  • management


Dive into the research topics of 'Detecting Dairy Cow Behavior Using Vision Technology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this