The science rally 2023

How do animals, technology and animal welfare fit together? The Department of Process Engineering in Animal Production has shown young scientists how modern technology and sensors can be used to measure animal welfare and improve animal welfare in livestock farming in the long term.

Young scientists explore the diverse research areas at the ILT

Animals, technology, animal welfare? That was the topic at the station of the Institute of Agricultural Engineering (ILT) at this year's science rally around Poppelsdorf. This took place on Saturday, January 21, 2023. Young scientists between the ages of 13 and 17 had the opportunity to experience various research focuses at various scientific institutes up close and see what the researchers deal with in their everyday lives. To this end, at the Institute of Agricultural Engineering, scientists Senta Becker and Sonja Hillemacher from the Department of Process Engineering in Animal Production prepared three stations on the use of state-of-the-art technology and sensor technology in animal husbandry.

For example, the young scientists were able to assign various sensors that are frequently used in practice, such as a pedometer, an accelerometer, a rumen bolus or even rumination sensors to their place of use on the cow. In the process, the young people learned which parameters help the farmer to assess the well-being of the cows.

To gain insight into chicken vision, the young scientists were asked to use their smartphones. Looking through the cell phone camera at two different lamps showed them that when low hertz LED lamps with inferior switching drivers were used, the light in the cell phone image flickered, just as the chicken can perceive. ILT staff explained to the youth that avoiding such flickering light sources in the poultry house promotes animal welfare.

The Institute of Agricultural Engineering also uses modified motion sensors, known as passive infrared sensors, to detect and record the activity of pigs, for example. The young scientists were also able to test these sensors and learn a lot about the relationship between activity and animal welfare.
The ILT staff was very pleased that the young scientists were so interested and had so much fun with research on process engineering in animal husbandry and are looking forward to the next science rally.
© Martin Magunia
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