Identification of the rumination in cattle using support vector machines with motion-sensitive bolus sensors

Andrew Hamilton*, Chris Davison, Christos Tachtatzis, Ivan Andonovic, Craig Michie, HJ Ferguson, Laura Somerville, Nicholas N Jonsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
122 Downloads (Pure)


The reticuloruminal function is central to the digestive efficiency in ruminants. For cattle, collar- and ear tag-based accelerometer monitors have been developed to assess the time spent ruminating on an individual animal. Cattle that are ill feed less and so ruminate less, thus, the estimation of the time spent ruminating provides insights into the health of individual animals. pH boluses directly provide information on the reticuloruminal function within the rumen and extended (three hours or more) periods during which the ruminal pH value remains below 5.6 is an indicator that dysfunction and poor welfare are likely. Accelerometers, incorporated into the pH boluses, have been used to indicate changes in behaviour patterns (high/low activity), utilised to detect the onset of oestrus. The paper demonstrates for the first time that by processing the reticuloruminal motion, it is possible to recover rumination periods. Reticuloruminal motion energy and the time between reticuloruminal contractions are used as inputs to a Support Vector Machine (SVM) to identify rumination periods with an overall accuracy of 86.1%, corroborated by neck mounted rumination collars.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1165
Issue number5
Early online date7 Mar 2019
Publication statusPrint publication - 7 Mar 2019


  • Cattle
  • Bolus sensors
  • Accelerometers
  • Behaviour
  • Rumination


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of the rumination in cattle using support vector machines with motion-sensitive bolus sensors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this