Increased accuracy of estrus prediction using ruminoreticular biocapsule sensors in Hanwoo (Bos taurus coreanae) cows
Visual estrus observation can only be confirmed at a rate of 50%–60%, which is lower than that obtained using a biosensor. Thus, the use of biosensors provides more opportunities for artificial insemination because it is easier to confirm estrus than by visual observation. This study determines the accuracy of estrus prediction using a ruminoreticular biosensor by analyzing ruminoreticular temperature during the estrus cycle and measuring changes in body activity. One hundred and twenty-five Hanwoo cows (64 with a ruminal biosensor in the test group and 61 without biosensors in the control group) were studied. Ruminoreticular temperatures and body activities were measured every 10 min. The first service of artificial insemination used gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)-based fixed-time artificial insemination protocol in the control and test groups. The test group received artificial insemination based on the estrus prediction made by the biosensor, and the control group received artificial insemination according to visual estrus observation. Before artificial insemination, the ruminoreticular temperature was maintained at an average of 38.95 ± 0.05°C for 13 h (−21 to −9 h), 0.73°C higher than the average temperature observed at −48 h (38.22 ± 0.06°C). The body activity, measured using an indwelling 3-axis accelerometer, averaged 1502.57 ± 27.35 for approximately 21 h from −4 to −24 h before artificial insemination, showing 203 indexes higher body activity than −48 hours (1299 ± 9.72). Therefore, using an information and communication techonology (ICT)-based biosensor is highly effective because it can reduce the reproductive cost of a farm by accurately detecting estrus and increasing the rate of estrus confirmation in cattle.