Broiler Vocalisation to Predict Growth

Andrew Butterworth

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


The constantly growing yearly demand for meat, dairy products and eggs has important implications for agricultural production methods. Nowadays livestock/crop production is becoming increasingly industrialised worldwide, shifting from extensive, small-scale, subsistence production systems towards more intensive, large-scale, geographically- concentrated, specialised and commercially oriented ones. The shift in livestock farming methods from extensive to intensive poses a number of significant challenges for animal welfare, environmental sustainability and food security. The indicators to assess animal's health and welfare status, have been increased during the last years, and the importance of this discipline is now widely known worldwide. Thanks to the welfare quality® protocol the procedure to assess the animal health and welfare has become more and more clear, precise and accurate since the project ended in 2009. Furthermore this procedure to assess animal welfare status is time consuming and requires manpower and accurate planning.
One way to make easier and faster this assessment could be the application of audio and video analysis. These techniques have been using widely and for long time to better identify specific behaviours and vocalisation patterns in different animals' species. Vocalisations, for instance, have been studied for many years in order to better understand the vocal pattern of this species in relation to environmental temperatures and situations of stress (e.g. high/low temperatures). Automatic animal monitoring should be a method to support farmers in achieving farm sustainability. Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) can combine audio and video information into automated tools serving as early warning systems for the farmer when health or welfare problems are detected.
PLF can also be used to aid the management of some complex biological production processes, for example in food strategies, to control the growth rate and to monitor the animal activity.
Using tools to continuously monitor and quantify animal behaviour, vocalisations and production, allow farmers to act as suitable.
In general, the reliability of PLF is determined primarily by the animal and all the physiological variables that can/must be continuously measured, such as weight, activity, behaviour, food intake, noise produced, body temperature, heart or respiratory rate, etc. Continuous measurement means that, depending on the variable in question, the frequency of measurements must be high/elevated. Other requirements include the capability to provide reliable prediction and, along with on-line measurement, integration of the algorithms that are necessary for automatic animal monitoring in order to implement correct control strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts of the 65th Annual Meeting of the European Association for Animal Production
Subtitle of host publicationEAAP Book of Abstracts
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-8686-799-8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2014
Event65th Annual Meeting of the European Association for Animal Production: Copenhagen, Denmark, 25 - 28 August 2014 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 25 Aug 201429 Aug 2014


Conference65th Annual Meeting of the European Association for Animal Production: Copenhagen, Denmark, 25 - 28 August 2014


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