Banhazi, T. M. and Rutley, D. and Parkin, B. J. and Lewis, B. (2009) Field evaluation of a prototype sensor for measuring feed disappearance in livestock buildings. Australian Journal of Multi-Disciplinary Engineering, 7 (1). pp. 27-38. ISSN 1448-8388
A solid-flow sensor, designed to measure the amount of feed delivered to individual feeders in livestock buildings was built, fine-tuned and tested for accuracy under realistic field conditions. The design is based on 'solid-flow' measurement technology that enabled the research team to build a sensor that is cost effective, compact and robust. The sensor was designed to be easily introduced to existing feed supply systems. Innovative aspects of the software and hardware components of the instrument enabled the sensor to accurately estimate the amount of feed supplied through the feed pipe. The sensor was tested a number of times in an experimental feed distribution system under conditions that mimicked the commercial environment. The sensor precision was also specifically evaluated in relation to changed humidity conditions and diet composition. During the field tests, the sensor-estimated feed amount was found to be in agreement with the actual feed delivered within the accepted limit (0.5 kg). The field tests results provided evidence that the system can perform well under field conditions with an accuracy of around 2-4% or 0.1-0.3 kg.
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