85 Automated Walk-Over Weighing System: Methods to Track Daily Body Mass and Growth in Grazing Steers Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract Body weight (BW) is a critical component for monitoring animal weight gain, body condition, nutritional status. Remote animal weighing systems facilitate frequent collection of animal BW, however, datasets often contain spurious data. The objective of this study was to describe the utility of using a remote Walk-over-Weigh system and subsequent methods for data cleaning. Beef steers (n = 10) were tagged with Electronic RFID tags (EID) in an improved pasture (~12.1 hectares) containing Bermuda and Tall Fescue and inter-seeded with Annual Ryegrass and grazed from Feb. Dec. 2020. Static chute weights (n = 80) were collected monthly, and a WOW system placed by the water to remotely collect BW (n = 5,466). Data were first loaded into Program R and scanned for spurious data using each of 2 primary approaches, 1) the whole herd and individual means 1 standard deviation (SD) calculated daily or over the entire trial and 2) each of 3 data smoothing algorithms, which included a quadratic growth model, cubic splines, and polynomial regression. Then, data with spurious observations removed were paired with static chute weights and fitted to a linear model to measure accuracy (mean bias) and precision (R2) of WOW data. Whole herd mean 1SD and individual daily mean 1SD identified 1,204 and 1,516 spurious data, with mean bias of -12.46 and -15.37 KG and R2 of 0.90 and 0.68, respectively. Smoothing functions identified 1,707, 4,684, and 4,776 spurious points, with a mean bias of 13.61, -19.78, and 12.58 KG, and R2 of 0.94, 0.70, and 0.87 for quadratic growth models, cubic splines, and polynomial regression, respectively. These results indicate the utility of using a simple WOW system to collect data for measuring growth curves and using weight data in a real-time fashion to make management and marketing decisions.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Animal Science

author list (cited authors)

  • Parsons, I. L., Karisch, B. B., Webb, S. L., Proctor, M., Stone, A., & Street, G. M.

citation count

  • 0

publication date

  • September 2022