Visits of housed cattle to GreenFeed units (2016-2023)

N - Datasets

Perez-Marquez, S., De-Meo-Filho, P., Le-Grice, P., Griffith, B. A., Harris, P., Cardenas, L. M., Lee, M. R. F., Misselbrook, T. H. and Rivero, M. J. 2024. Visits of housed cattle to GreenFeed units (2016-2023). Rothamsted Research. https://doi.org/10.23637/rothamsted.98zz6

AuthorsPerez-Marquez, S., De-Meo-Filho, P., Le-Grice, P., Griffith, B. A., Harris, P., Cardenas, L. M., Lee, M. R. F., Misselbrook, T. H. and Rivero, M. J.
Abstract

This dataset comprises data on visits to a GreenFeed unit by housed beef cattle, including dates and times, animal identification and visit number. The GreenFeed system (C-lock Inc., Rapid City, SD, USA) is designed to measure greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide and methane) emissions by animals visiting the unit. To encourage the visit, the GreenFeed dispenses pelleted feed to a visiting animal. The animal is identified by their radio frequency identification ear tag, and this is related back to their UK Offical Tag number. Greenhouse gas emissions from the cattle can be found elsewhere (http://resources.rothamsted.ac.uk/farmplatform) but where there are multiple visits by an animal on the same day, the emissions are averaged. This dataset does not contain any greenhouse gas emissions, but does present the date and time of each visit to the GreenFeed system. It is anticipated that this data could be used to study cattle behaviour and hierarchies.

Year of Publication2024
PublisherRothamsted Research
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.23637/rothamsted.98zz6
Keywordsbeef cattle
cattle sheds
animal feeding
animal behaviour
Publication dates
Online15 Apr 2024
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
CIEL
Related Output
Has metadatahttps://doi.org/10.23637/rothamsted.98y53
Has metadatahttps://doi.org//10.23637/rothamsted.98y50
Has metadatahttps://doi.org/10.23637/rothamsted.98y1x
Continueshttp://resources.rothamsted.ac.uk/farmplatform
Funder project or codeThe North Wyke Farm Platform- National Capability [2023-28]
S2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 2 (WP2) - Adaptive management systems for improved efficiency and nutritional quality
The North Wyke Farm Platform- National Capability [2017-22]
The North Wyke Farm Platform [2012-2017]
Growing Health [ISP]
Data files
Copyright license
CC BY 4.0
Data type
Spreadsheet
Contents
Additional metadata
File Access Level
Open
Data files
Copyright license
CC BY 4.0
Data type
Spreadsheet
Contents
Data
File Access Level
Open
Data files
Copyright license
CC BY 4.0
Data type
Text
Contents
Documentation
File Access Level
Open
Data collection period27 Oct 2016 to end of 01 Sep 2023
Geographic location
N50.77642 E-3.92384
Data collection method

The data span the years 2016 to 2023. The cattle breed from which this data were collected was initially Hereford x Friesian crosses, and from 2017 was increasingly comprised of Stabilisers, a blend of British and Contiental breeds such as Hereford, Red Angus, Simmental and Gelbvieh. Further information about the livestock can be found in https://doi.org/10.23637/rothamsted.98y50. Additional data about the cattle, including date of birth, breed, weights and sales data, may be found at http://resources.rothamsted.ac.uk/farmplatform and matched to this dataset using the column Offical Tag.

The cattle, and the barns in which they are housed for some or all of the year, are on the North Wyke Farm Platform (NWFP). A full description of the NWFP and the farming systems can be found in https://doi.org/10.23637/rothamsted.98y1x. Briefly, from September 2015 until April 2019, the NWFP was comprised of three individual outdoor systems, or ‘farmlets’. The red farmlet was sown with high sugar grasses (perennial ryegrass, Lolium perenne cv. AberMagic), the blue farmlet was sown with high sugar grass (Lolium perenne cv. AberMagic) and white clover (Trifolium repens cv. AberHerald), and the green farmlet remained as the permanent pasture that had already been present for many years. From April 2019, the red farmlet transitioned to an arable system. A fourth system, the brown farmlet, was created at this time, where cattle are reared indoors from weaning to slaughter. The cohort of cattle and grazing each of these farmlets remain separate from one another, and therefore there are separate barns for the over-wintering of cattle (or year-round in the case of the brown treatment) from each farmlet. Animals are fed predominantly on silage grown on their respective farmlet, or bought-in in the case of the brown farmlet. The GreenFeed units in this dataset (see Unit ID column of data) correspond to different farmlets. The feeder with unit ID 96 was in the green farmlet shed, 97 in the red or brown farmlet shed (depending on which treatment had livestock at the time), and 98 in the blue farmlet shed. The GreenFeed units were first deployed in 2016, and this dataset provides data up to September 2023. The data exist only during the housing period, typically from October to April in the blue, green and red farmlets, while the brown farmlet has data from around October until late summer or early autumn. The GreenFeed units (full details at https://doi.org/10.23637/rothamsted.98y53) encourage cattle to visit by releasing pelleted feed (~30 g), but the number of times the unit dispenses feed to an individual animal is capped (dataset column = MaxDrop). Each animal can have up a number of feeding periods per day with a specified minimum interval between feeding periods (dataset column = PeriodDelay). Each animal triggers the start of its feeding period by inserting its head into the GreenFeed unit, where it is identified by its ear tag. Consequently, animals will differ in the start and end times of their feeding periods, with the potential for some animals to have fewer feeding periods in a day than the maximum, or to be starting their first feeding period while others are already on a second or subsequent feeding period. The feeding period is represented in the data by the column CurrentPeriod.

If cattle remain in the GreenFeed unit there is an interval between the dispensing of feed drops (dataset column = DropDelay), during which time the greenhouse gas measurements (not given in this dataset) are made. If cattle leave the GreenFeed unit before reaching a number of feed drops equal to MaxDrop, they may return at another time (or multiple times) in the same feeding period to receive the remaining feed. The column CurrentCup in the data files indicates the visit number within the current feeding period, and the FeedTime shows the date and time of the feed being dispensed. If animals return to the GreenFeed after the MaxDrop is reached within the CurrentPeriod, no more feed is dispensed and no record of their visit is made in the dataset.

In the years 2019-2023, the values of MaxDrop, DropDelay and PeriodDelay are 5, 35 seconds and 17280 seconds respectively. In the other years, there is some variation in these values, within and between years.

Please see the related information for documentation about the farm platform, livestock, and the GreenFeed units, plus links to related data. Related data are free to access on a CC-BY-4.0 licence but require registration.

Data preparation and processing activities

The data provided are essentially those captured by the GreenFeed units. The radio frequency identification ear tag has been converted to the associated Official tag to match the additional data available in the NWFP data portal. Note that during the 2016-2017 period there are animals that do not have an Official tag. This is because the GreenFeed units detected them visiting, but the radio frequency ear tag number does not match any animal (Official tag) in our records. The data have still been provided, with N/A in the Official tag column.

The FeedTime column has also been converted from local time (which includes daylight saving time in March and October each year) to UTC (Universal Time Coordinated, often known as GMT in the UK).

In the 2019-2020 data, there were three rows with unusual values: rows 40841 and 40842, where the DropDelay and PeriodDelay were both 0, and row 40889, where MaxDrop and DropDelay were 0 and the PeriodDelay was 558. So as not to affect the continuity of the data, the values of MaxDrop, DropDelay and PeriodDelay have been amended to 5, 35 seconds and 17280 seconds respectively, to match the data in the surrounding rows.

Permalink - https://repository.rothamsted.ac.uk/item/98zz6/visits-of-housed-cattle-to-greenfeed-units-2016-2023

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