Monitoring Poultry Floor Distribution
In commercial poultry houses, chicken density and distribution in drinking, feeding and resting zones are critical factors for evaluating flock production, bird health/well-being, and welfare. Proper distribution of chickens in the house could be an indication of animal well-being and house environmental management such as ventilation and litter quality concerns. Currently, daily routine inspection of broiler flock distribution in commercial grow-out houses is done manually, which is labor intensive and time consuming. A poultry engineering specialist in UGA poultry science department is studying artificial intelligence-based technology to monitor floor distribution of chickens automatically. An early-version of a monitoring system, including data collection and model/algorithms for image analysis, has been developed and tested in research poultry houses at UGA. This system has been tested with the accuracy of 94 percent or higher in monitoring birds’ distribution in feeding and drinking zones. The current finding provides the basis for developing an automated approach to monitoring poultry floor distribution and behaviors in commercial production systems.