Due to the increasing scale of farms, it is increasingly difficult for farmers to monitor their animals in an automated way. Because of this problem, we focused on a sound technique to monitor laying hens. Sound analysis has become an important tool for studying the behaviour, health and welfare of animals in recent years. A surveillance system using microphone arrays of Kinects was developed for automatically monitoring birds’ abnormal vocalisations during the night. Based on the principle of time-difference of arrival (TDOA) of sound source localisation (SSL) method, Kinect sensor direction estimations were very accurate. The system had an accuracy of 74.7% in laboratory tests and 73.6% in small poultry group tests for different area sound recognition. Additionally, flocks produced an average of 40 sounds per bird during feeding time in small group tests. It was found that, on average, each normal chicken produced more than 53 sounds during the daytime (noon to 6:00 p.m.) and less than one sound at night (11:00 p.m.–3:00 a.m.). This system can be used to detect anomalous poultry status at night by monitoring the number of vocalisations and area distributions, which provides a practical and feasible method for the study of animal behaviour and welfare.
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