Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Animal and Food Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Joao Henrique Cardoso Costa

Second Advisor

Dr. Eric S. Vanzant


With the increase in on-farm precision dairy technologies (PDT) utilization, large quantities of information are readily available to producers. A more recently available technology for use in livestock species is the real-time location system. These technologies offer dairy producers the opportunity to monitor and track real-time locations of cows, track locomotion patterns, and summarize specific area usage. However, the usefulness of these insights is heavily dependent on the performance of the technology. Therefore, the first objective of this dissertation was to assess the positioning recording performance and the usefulness of the data recorded of a real-time location system (Smartbow GmbH; Zoetis Services LLC., Parsippany, NJ, USA) for use in freestall-housed dairy cattle on a commercial farm. The first objective evaluated a technology’s positioning abilities under static and dynamic conditions. The system was able to accurately determine locations while under both static and dynamic conditions. Furthermore, PDT are also utilized to monitor the behaviors and activity of dairy calves. The second objective of this dissertation was to investigate the effects of heat stress on the behaviors of dairy calves using information gathered by PDT. Information recorded from automated milk feeders and pedometers were used to investigate the effects of an elevated temperature-humidity index on dairy calf behaviors. The changes in behavior recorded suggest that PDT can detect behavioral patterns changes of calves during heat stress.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

This research was funded by a United States Department of Agriculture NIFA Hatch Grant Project KY007100 from 2017 to 2023.

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Dairy Science Commons