Image analysis method to evaluate beak and head motion of broiler chickens during feeding

Mehdizadeh, S. Abdanan and Neves, D. P. and Tscharke, M. and Naas, I. A. and Banhazi, T. M. (2015) Image analysis method to evaluate beak and head motion of broiler chickens during feeding. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 114. pp. 88-95. ISSN 0168-1699


While feeding broiler chickens may exhibit different biomechanical movements in relation to the physical
properties of feed such as size, shape and hardness. Furthermore, the chicken’s anatomical features at
various ages, genders and breeds in conjunction with feed type and feeder design parameters may also have an influence on biomechanical movement. To determine the significance of these parameters during feeding, kinematic measurements related to the biomechanical motions are required. However, determining this information manually from video by a human operator is tedious and prone to errors. The aim of this study was to develop a machine vision technique which visually identifies the relevant biomechanical variables attributed to broiler feeding behaviour from high-speed video footages. A total of 369
frames from three broiler chicks of 5 days old were manually measured and compared to the automatic
measurement. For each bird six mandibulations (i.e. a cycle of opening and closing the beak) were manually
selected, which were two different sequences of three consecutive mandibulations starting right after a feed grasping. The kinematics variables considered were: (i) head displacement (eye centre position; x- and y-axis); (ii) beak opening speed (given in mm ms�1); (iii) beak closing speed (measured in mm ms�1); (iv) beak opening acceleration (given in mm ms�2); and (v) beak closing acceleration (given in mm ms�2). Results indicated that the highest error for eye position detection was 1.05 mm for x-axis and 0.67 for the y-axis. The difference between manual and automatic (algorithm output) measurements
for the beak gape was 0.22 ± 0.009 mm, in which the maximum difference was 0.76 mm. Regression analysis indicated that both measures are highly correlated (R2 = 99.2%). Statistical tests suggested that the primary probably causes of error are the speed and acceleration of the beak motion (i.e. blurred image), as well as the presence of feed particles in the first and second mandibulations right after the feed grasping (i.e. occluded beak tips by feed particles). The presented method calculated automatically the position of the eye centre (x- and y-axis) and both upper and lower beak tips distance in a high level
of accuracy, but the model can be improved by using a camera with higher resolution, a higher acquisition rate, and infrared-reflective markers. The method has the potential to facilitate efficient and repeatable acquisition of biomechanical data of broiler chickens during feeding, and be used to benchmark the feed physical properties and its processing methods, likewise evolving knowledge for futures studies in feeders’ design.

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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 Civil Engineering and Surveying
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2017 04:28
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 05:19
Uncontrolled Keywords: biomechanics; eating behavior; high-speed camera; image analysis; jaw apparatus
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.compag.2015.03.017

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