A Systematic Review of Precision Livestock Farming in the Poultry Sector: Is Technology Focussed on Improving Bird Welfare?

Elizabeth Rowe, Marian Stamp Dawkins, Sabine G. Gebhardt-Henrich

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Abstract

Precision livestock farming (PLF) systems have the potential to improve animal welfare through providing a continuous picture of welfare states in real time and enabling fast interventions that benefit the current flock. However, it remains unclear whether the goal of PLF development has been to improve welfare or increase production efficiency. The aims of this systematic literature review are to provide an overview of the current state of PLF in poultry farming and investigate whether the focus of PLF research has been to improve bird welfare. The study characteristics extracted from 264 peer-reviewed publications and conference proceedings suggest that poultry PLF has received increasing attention on a global scale, but is yet to become a widespread commercial reality. PLF development has most commonly focussed on broiler farming, followed by laying hens, and mainly involves the use of sensors (environmental and wearable) and cameras. More publications had animal health and welfare than production as either one of or the only goal, suggesting that PLF development so far has focussed on improving animal health and welfare. Future work should prioritise improving the rate of commercialisation of PLF systems, so that their potential to improve bird welfare might be realised.
Original languageEnglish
Article number614
Number of pages18
JournalAnimals
Volume9
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2019

Keywords

  • precision livestock farming
  • poultry
  • health and welfare
  • systematic review

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