Advertisement

Body condition score accuracy and repeatability from evaluation of cull sow digital images at a midwestern harvest facility

      This paper is only available as a PDF. To read, Please Download here.

      ABSTRACT

      Objective

      The objective of this study was to assess accuracy, repeatability, and reproducibility when evaluating cull sow body condition score (BCS) using a digital medium.

      Materials and Methods

      Selected digital images were sourced from recorded images of sows brought to a Midwest abattoir. Digital images were collected on 2 separate occasions. Each sample, grouped by capture date, represented a unique scoring session. Scorers (n = 6) with experience at assessing sow body condition used images to assign a BCS to each sow using a 7-point BCS scale. Using applied values, scores were adjusted to the standard 5-point scale. Because scorers assessed individual sows’ body condition from recorded video images, the mode score (BCSMode) was calculated for each sow and considered the gold standard. Scoring distributions, mode scores, individual bias, percent agreement with BCSMode, percent interobserver agreement, Spearman correlations evaluating scorer agreement, repeatability, and reproducibility were calculated.

      Results and Discussion

      Scorer bias from the pooled cull sow groups (n = 386 total available video images from 2 separate collections) ranged from −0.25 (±0.5) to 0.51 (±0.9). Spearman correlation coefficients for cull sow BCS measured on all sows for all scores during the second scoring round were lower than those observed in the first round. Additionally, it was observed that repeatability estimates improved from round 1 and round 2 (Rd 1 = 0.74 and Rd 2 = 0.76), and reproducibility slightly decreased between round 1 and round 2 (Rd 1 = 0.52 and Rd 2 = 0.47). These repeatability and reproducibility changes demonstrate that as experience level increases, scorers begin to develop their interpretation of the scale used to assess body condition. In turn, they become more repeatable within themselves but may differ from other scorers.

      Implications and Applications

      The ability for scorers to accurately identify low-BCS sows could serve as a cumulative lifetime welfare indicator where harvest facilities could provide valuable BCS feedback on individual sow and group average basis. The accuracy, repeatability, and reproducibility reported in this study suggest that digital images are an effective medium to assess cull sow BCS.

      Key words

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      LITERATURE CITED

        • Burkholder W.J.
        Use of body condition scores in clinical assessment of the provision of optimal nutrition.
        J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 2000; 217: 650-654https://doi.org/10.2460/javma.2000.217.650
        • De Luca S.
        • Zanardi E.
        • Alborali G.L.
        • Ianieri A.
        • Ghidini S.
        Abattoir-based measures to assess swine welfare: Analysis of the methods adopted in European slaughterhouses.
        Animals (Basel). 2021; 11: 226https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010226
        • Evans D.G.
        The interpretation and analysis of subjective body condition scores.
        Anim. Sci. 1978; 26: 119-125https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003356100039520
        • Ferguson J.D.
        • Galligan D.T.
        • Thomsen N.
        Principal descriptors of body condition score in Holstein cows.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1994; 77: 2695-2703https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(94)77212-X
        • Ferguson J.D.
        • Azzaro G.
        • Licitra G.
        Body condition assessment using digital images.
        J. Dairy Sci. 2006; 89: 3833-3841https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(06)72425-0
        • Fitzgerald R.F.
        • Stalder K.J.
        • Dixon P.M.
        • Johnson A.K.
        • Karriker L.A.
        • Jones G.F.
        The accuracy and repeatability of sow body condition scoring.
        Prof. Anim. Sci. 2009; 25: 415-425https://doi.org/10.15232/S1080-7446(15)30736-1
        • Grandin T.
        Transport fitness of cull sows and boars: A comparison of different guidelines on fitness for transport.
        Animals (Basel). 2016; 6: 77https://doi.org/10.3390/ani6120077
        • Halachmi I.
        • Polak P.
        • Roberts D.J.
        • Klopcic M.
        Cow body shape and automation of condition scoring.
        J. Dairy Sci. 2008; 91: 4444-4451https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2007-0785
        • Hill G.
        • Rozeboom D.W.
        • Trottier N.
        • Mahan D.C.
        • Adeoli L.
        • Cline T.
        • Forsyth D.
        • Richert B.
        Tri-State Swine Nutrition Guide.
        The Ohio State University, 1998
        • Knauer M.
        • Stalder K.J.
        • Karriker L.
        • Baas T.J.
        • Johnson C.
        • Serenius T.
        • Layman L.
        • McKean J.D.
        A descriptive survey of lesions from cull sows harvested at two Midwestern U.S. facilities.
        Prev. Vet. Med. 2007; 82: 198-212https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2007.05.017
        • Kristensen E.
        • Dueholm L.
        • Vink D.
        • Andersen J.E.
        • Jakobsen E.B.
        • Illum-Nielsen S.
        • Petersen F.A.
        • Enevoldsen C.
        Withinand across-person uniformity of body condition scoring in Danish Holstein cattle.
        J. Dairy Sci. 2006; 89: 3721-3728https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(06)72413-4
        • Lao F.
        • Brown-Brandl T.
        • Stinn J.P.
        • Liu K.
        • Teng G.
        • Xin H.
        Automatic recognition of lactating sow behaviors through depth image processing.
        Comput. Electron. Agric. 2016; 125: 56-62https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compag.2016.04.026
        • Leonard S.M.H.
        • Xin T.
        • Brown-Brandl B.C.
        • Ramirez B.C.
        An image acquisition system for studying behaviors of sows and piglets in farrowing barns. ILES18-018. 10th Int. Livest. Environ. Symp., Omaha, NE.
        American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, 2018https://doi.org/10.13031/iles.18-018
        • Nicholson M.J.
        • Sayers A.R.
        Repeatability, reproducibility and sequential use of condition scoring of Bos indicus cattle.
        Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 1987; 19: 127-135https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02239705
        • Ritter L.A.
        • Xue J.L.
        • Dial G.D.
        • Morrison R.B.
        • Marsh W.E.
        Prevalence of lesions and body condition scores among female swine at slaughter.
        J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 1999; 214: 525-528
        • Stock J.D.
        • Calderón Díaz J.A.
        • Abell C.E.
        • Baas T.J.
        • Rothschild M.F.
        • Mote B.E.
        • Stalder K.J.
        Development of an objective feet and leg conformation evaluation method using digital imagery in swine.
        J. Anim. Sci. Livest. Prod. 2017; 1: 06https://doi.org/10.21767/2577-0594.100006
        • Thomsen P.T.
        • Munksgaard L.
        • Togersen F.A.
        Evaluation of a lameness scoring system for dairy cows.
        J. Dairy Sci. 2008; 91: 119-126https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2007-0496
        • Vasseur E.
        • Gibbons J.
        • Rushen J.
        • de Passillé A.M.
        Development and implementation of a training program to ensure high repeatability of body condition scoring of dairy cows.
        J. Dairy Sci. 2013; 96: 4725-4737https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2012-6359