Detection of flock movement and behaviour of broiler chickens at different feeders using image analysis

Neves, Diego Pereira and Mehdizadeh, Saman Abdanan and Tscharke, Matthew and Naas, Irenilza de Alencar and Banhazi, Thomas Michael (2015) Detection of flock movement and behaviour of broiler chickens at different feeders using image analysis. Information Processing in Agriculture 2, 2 (3-4). pp. 177-182. ISSN 2214-3173


The behaviour of broiler chickens has been extensively studied as a function of stocking density and environmental conditions, but limited information was reported in the scientific literature about the effect of feeder type on birds’ feeding process. The main objective of this study was to assess the effects of three different feeder types in relation to the birds’ behaviour in its surroundings. The analysed feeders were: tube-type with partition grid
(F1); tube-type without partition grid (F2); and automatic type with partition grid (F3). The considered variables were: occupied area (OA); activity index (AI) (flock movement); total birds presented in the area (TB); and birds effectively eating (EE). OA and AI were calculated
by computational image analysis while TB and EE were manually measured. The results indicated that the feeder type could have influenced the birds’ behaviour regarding
to OA (R2 = 0.56), TB (R2 = 0.48), and EE (R2 = 0.40), but AI (R2 = 0.01) was not found to be directly influenced by the feeder type. A higher percentage of birds effectively eating were found in F2 (86.4%), which was the one with the largest free area to access the feed. Similar average number of total birds was found in F1, but with a lower percentage of individuals effectively eating (63.3%), which means that birds were nearby this feeder performing other
behaviours. Since the assessed feeders were in the same house under the same conditions, it can be suggested that not only the free area to access the feed but potentially the design of feeders could have influenced the birds’ feeding preference. The real beneficial effect of the
adoption of partition grid on feed trays is still uncertain, and it is also unclear whether the
financial value of reduced wastage would compensate the possible reduction in feed intake.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2017 04:41
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2017 05:34
Uncontrolled Keywords: activity index, animal behavior, feeding, image processing, motion, occupied area
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0702 Animal Production > 070203 Animal Management
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.inpa.2015.08.002

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