1. Home
  2. Research
  3. Research groups
  4. Precision Livestock Farming research group

Precision Livestock Farming research group

The Precision Livestock Farming research group wants to facilitate smart farming and the use data for more precise operational management. The research group also looks to other industries for inspiration.

Tablet and cows

About the research group

Goal

Goal

The aim of the Precision Livestock Farming research group is to facilitate smarter and more efficient farming (smart farming) and to use data for more precise operational management. By collecting more information about the individual animal, it is easier to prevent illness, reduce the amount of raw materials and antibiotics needed, and to increase the animal’s performance. More and, specifically, better knowledge of the animal’s behaviour and health status can improve its well-being.

Persons with clipboard sit on hay bale
Research programme

Research programme

The Precicion Livestock Farming research group focusses on the animal sector and specifically the technology and data that play a key role in animal husbandry. The research group also looks to other industries for inspiration. 

New role livestock farmer 

The livestock farmer is getting a new role: instead of identifying abnormalities (something that a sensor is often better at and is able to do continuously), the livestock farmer can demonstrate their expertise by making the right decisions based on all the information they receive. This enables more precise management of animals that have something wrong with them. This approach is more efficient and problems are detected much sooner. 

People walking at a farm
Lines of research

Lines of reserach

HAS green academy has considerable experience in this area: there is an established group focused on precision agriculture, numerous technology projects including in sensor technology in the livestock sector, and in 2016 the 3rd year minor Smart Farming was started. 

Examples 

  • Pedometer and IDAs for cows: pedometers and IDAs (Intelligent Dairy Farmer’s Assistant) are used to monitor a cow’s behaviour and activity. This makes it possible to see when a cow is on heat and can be inseminated. It also highlights if the cow’s behaviour is different to normal so that the livestock farmer can intervene. This not only leads to better production, but to also better livestock well-being.
     
  • Cough monitor for pigs: the cough monitor for pigs warns the farmer if too many pigs are coughing. The farmer can then intervene in time, reducing the amount of antibiotics required. This is better for the pig farmer, the consumer and the pigs. 

  • Monitoring in the poultry shed: a camera in the poultry shed registers the activity and distribution of the chicken. It also warns the poultry farmer if there is a sudden change in values. Problems are spotted quickly and the farmer can intervene. 

  • Drones and robots: drones and robots are being used in more and more sectors, from education to health care, from arable farming to ecology. Cows in a meadow with robots; monitoring wildlife (or poachers!) deploying drones, tracking migratory birds, wild cows or pets with GPS and webcams. The possibilities are endless. 
photo Lenny in stable
On-the-job-training companies

On-the-job-training companies

The Precision Livestock Farming research group works closely with 2 on-the-job-training companies: 

Hoeve Boveneind 

On-the-job training dairy farm Hoeve Boveneind in Herwijnen is owned and run by Wilfred de Bruijn. Here, HAS green academy is able to link the cows’ behaviour and activity to their location, using technology from Nedap. Also, a SmaXtec rumen bolus enables researchers to measure the activity, temperature and pH in the stomachs of some of the cows. This and other data collected on-site offer considerable possibilities for this research group to carry out practical research.  

Pels Melkvee 

The research conducted by HAS green academy at Pels in Empel focuses primarily on mapping out the activity and fitness of cows in meadows. These parameters are measured using IDAs and the Body Condition Score camera from DeLaval. The research group The research group conducts research at Pels Melkvee that looks into the relationship between condition, social interactions and ranking of the cows. 

Publications

Inauguration speech

Publication inauguration speech professor Lenny van Erp, October 2016

Thesis

  • E. van Erp-van der Kooij, 2003. Coping behaviour in pigs – consequences for welfare and performance. Verdediging op 11 december 2003 te Utrecht. Faculteit Diergeneeskunde, Utrecht Universiteit.

Journal articles

Scientific articles

  • J.B.Roelofs and E. van Erp-van der Kooij, 2015. Estrus detection tools and their applicability in cattle: recent and perspectival situation. Animal Reproduction 12 (3), p. 498-504.
  • G.H. Meen, M.A. Schellekens, M.H.M. Slegers, N.L.G. Leenders, E. van Erp-van der Kooij and L.P.J.J. Noldus, 2015. Sound analysis in dairy cattle vocalisation as a potential welfare monitor. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 118, p. 111-115.
  • J.M. Shephard, S. Rycken, O. Almalik, K. Struyf and E. van Erp-van der Kooij, 2015. Migration strategies revealed by satellite tracking among descendants of a population of European white stork (Ciconia ciconia) reintroduced to Belgium. Journal of Ornithology 156 (4): 943-953.
  • E. van der Steen, V. Boomer, V. Snijders en E. van Erp-van der Kooij, 2014. Stress bij asielkatten. Tijdschrift voor Diergeneeskunde nr. 8, augustus 2014, p. 40-43.
  • E.van Erp-van der Kooij, A.H.Kuijpers, F.J.C.M. van Eerdenburg and M.J.M.Tielen, 2003. Coping characteristics and performance in fattening pigs. Livestock Production Science 84: 31-38.
  • E.van Erp-van der Kooij, A.H.Kuijpers, F.J.C.M. van Eerdenburg, S.J. Dieleman, D.M. Blankenstein and M.J.M.Tielen, 2003. Individual behavioural characteristics in pigs – influences of group composition, but no differences in cortisol responses. Physiology and Behaviour 78: 479-488.
  • E.van Erp-van der Kooij, A.H.Kuijpers, J.W. Schrama, F.J.C.M. van Eerdenburg, W.G.P. Schouten and M.J.M.Tielen, 2002. Can we predict behaviour in pigs? – searching for consistency in behaviour over time and across situations. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 75 (4) p. 293-305.
  • E. van Erp-van der Kooij, A.H. Kuijpers, F.J.C.M. van Eerdenburg and M.J.M.Tielen, 2001. A note on the influence of starting position, time of testing and test order on the backtest in pigs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 73 (4), p. 263-266.
  • E.van Erp-van der Kooij, A.H.Kuijpers, J.W.Schrama, E.D.Ekkel and M.J.M. Tielen, 2000. Individual behavioural characteristics in pigs and their impact on production. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 66, p. 171-185
  • E.A.M. Graat, E. van der Kooij, K. Frankena A.M. Henken, J.F.M. Smeets and M.T.J. Hekerman, 1998. Quantifying risk factors of coccidiosis in broilers using on-farm data based on a veterinary practice. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 33, p. 297-308.
  • E. van der Kooij, H. Kindahl and H. Gustafsson, 1994. Effects of endotoxin-contaminated FSH-preparations in heifers. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavia 35 (4), p. 449-451.

Contribute to congresses

  • E. van Erp-van der Kooij, J.B. Roelofs, J.S. Johnson, D. Hovden and L.P.J.J. Noldus. Monitoring body temperature and activity in sows using a sensor-based telemetric system. In: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference of the Assessment of Animal Welfare at Farm and Group level, Ede, the Netherlands, 5-8 September 2017 (poster presentation), p. 50.
  • E. van Erp-van der Kooij, J.B. Roelofs, J.S. Johnson, D. Hovden and L.P.J.J. Noldus. Monitoring body temperature and activity in sows using a sensor-based telemetric system. In: Proceedings of Precision Livestock Farming 2017, Nantes, France, 12-14 September 2017 (oral presentation and paper), p. 656-665.
  • E. van Erp-van der Kooij, M. van de Brug en J.B. Roelofs. Validation of Nedap Smarttag Leg and Neck to assess behavioural activity level in cattle. Precision Dairy Farming 2016, Leeuwarden, 21-23 juni 2016 (oral presentation and extended abstract)
  • E. van Erp-van der Kooij. Het gebruik van telemetrie in de agrarische sector. Landelijke Telemetrie dag 2016, Wageningen, 17 maart 2016.
  • G.H. Meen, M.A. Schellekens, M.H.M. Slegers, N.L.G. Leenders, E. van Erp-van der Kooij, and L.P.J.J. Noldus. Sound analysis of dairy cows. In: Proceedings of the ISAEBenelux meeting 2014, Eersel, the Netherlands, 8 October 2014 (poster presentation)
  • G.H. Meen, M.A. Schellekens, M.H.M. Slegers, N.L.G. Leenders, E. van Erp-van der Kooij, and L.P.J.J. Noldus. Sound analysis of dairy cows. In: Proceedings of Measuring Behaviour 2014, Wageningen, the Netherlands, 27-29 August 2014 (poster presentation)
  • E. van Erp-van der Kooij, E.C.J. Mijdam, O. Almalik and F.J.C.M. van Eerdenburg. Lying behavior of dairy cows in cubicles. In: Proceedings of the ISAEBenelux meeting 2013, Sterksel, the Netherlands, 10 October 2013 (poster presentation)
  • E. van Erp-van der Kooij, O. Almalik and F.J.C.M. van Eerdenburg. Lying behavior of dairy cows in cubicles. In: Proceedings of Measuring Behaviour 2012, Utrecht, the Netherlands, 28-31 August 2012 (poster presentation)
  • E. van Erp-van der Kooij, and F.J.C.M. van Eerdenburg. Lying behavior in cubicles – improving dairy welfare by improving management. In: Proceedings of the Minding Animals 2012 Conference, Utrecht, the Netherlands, 4-6 July 2012 (poster presentation)
  • E. van Erp-van der Kooij, D. Hovinga en P. Smulders. Evaluating animal lessons: attitude and knowledge in children age 4-12. In: Proceedings of the Minding Animals 2012 Conference, Utrecht, the Netherlands, 4-6 July 2012 (oral presentation)
  • E. van Erp-van der Kooij, A.H. Kuijpers, F.J.C.M. van Eerdenburg, S.J. Dieleman, D.M. Blankenstein and M.J.M. Tielen. Stress, coping behaviour and immunity in pigs. In: Proceedings of the Second International Swine Housing Conference. Raleigh, NC, USA, 12-15 October 2003 (oral presentation).
  • E. van Erp-van der Kooij, A.H. Kuijpers, F.J.C.M. van Eerdenburg and M.J.M. Tielen. Group composition can influence coping behaviour in pigs. In: Proceedings of the 37th Congress of the International Society for Applied Ethology, p.44. Abano Terme, Italy, 24-28 June 2003 (oral presentation).
  • E. van Erp-van der Kooij, A.H. Kuijpers, E.D. Ekkel and M.J.M. Tielen, 2002. Individual behavioural and immunological differences in pigs. In: Proceedings of the 36th Congress of the International Society for Applied Ethology, p. 198. Egmond aan Zee, the Netherlands, 6-10 August 2002 (poster).
  • E. van Erp-van der Kooij, A.H. Kuijpers, E.D. Ekkel and M.J.M. Tielen, 2001. Individual behavioural characteristics in pigs: a comparison of different behavioural tests. In: Proceedings of the 35nd Congress of the International Society for Applied Ethology. Davis, California, 4-8 August 2001 (poster).
  • E. van Erp-van der Kooij, A.H. Kuijpers, F.J.C.M. van Eerdenburg and M.J.M. Tielen, 2000. Coping behaviour and health in fattening pigs . In: Proceedings of the International Society of Animal Hygiene. Maastricht, the Netherlands, 2-6 July 2000 (oral presentation).
  • E. van Erp-van der Kooij, A.H. Kuijpers, F.J.C.M. van Eerdenburg and M.J.M. Tielen, 2000. Individual characteristics in pigs: variation in and validation of the backtest. In: Proceedings of the International Society of Animal Hygiene. Maastricht, the Netherlands, 2-6 July 2000 (poster).
  • E. van Erp-van der Kooij, A.H. Kuijpers, E.D. Ekkel and M.J.M. Tielen, 1998. Individual behavioural characteristics in pigs and their impact on production. In: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Production Diseases in Farm Animals. Utrecht, the Netherlands, 24-28 August 1998. Paper A48 (oral presentation).
  • E. van Erp-van der Kooij, A.H. Kuijpers, E.D. Ekkel and M.J.M. Tielen, 1998. Coping styles and stereotypies in sows. In: Proceedings of the 32nd Congress of the International Society for Applied Ethology, p. 183. Clermont-Ferrand, France, 21-25 July 1998 (poster).
  • E. van Erp-van der Kooij, A.H. Kuijpers, E.D. Ekkel and M.J.M. Tielen, 1997. Individual behavioural characteristics in pigs and their impact on production. In: Proceedings of the 48th annual meeting of the EAAP, p. 339, paper P5.5. Vienna, Austria, 25-28 august 1997 (oral presentation).

Professor

  • Dr. Ir. Lenny van Erp - van der Kooij

    Lector Precision Livestock Farming / Professor Precision Livestock Farming

    L.vErp@has.nl
    L.vErp@has.nl
    Linkedin
    Linkedin
    Twitter
    Twitter

Knowledge circle

Partners

  • Logo Datacamp

Sustainable Development Goals

  • Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being
  • Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education
  • Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production
  • Sustainable Development Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals

Related research groups

  • future food systems

    Future Food Systems research group

    The Future Food Systems research group is working on intervention strategies and new business models that accelerate the transition to sustainable food systems. In this way, we contribute to the impact on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, nationally and internationally.

  • illustration Healthy Farming

    Healthy Farming research group

    The Healthy Farming research group will conduct research into the problems caused by animal husbandry and stirs up the dialogue between market, researcher and consumer. The aim is taking new steps towards the animal husbandry of the future.