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Open AccessArticle

A Machine Vision-Based Method Optimized for Restoring Broiler Chicken Images Occluded by Feeding and Drinking Equipment

1
Department of Poultry Science, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
2
U.S. National Poultry Research Center, USDA-ARS, Athens, GA 30605, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2021, 11(1), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010123
Received: 10 December 2020 / Revised: 5 January 2021 / Accepted: 6 January 2021 / Published: 8 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precision Poultry Farming)
The equipment in the poultry house can occlude top view images of broiler chickens and limit the efficiency of vision-based target detection. In this study, we sought to improve the efficiency of a previously developed method to detect and restore broiler chicken areas blocked by feeders and drinkers. To do this, we developed and tested linear and elliptical fitting restoration methods under different occlusion scenarios to restore occluded broiler chicken areas. The restoration method correctly restored the occluded broiler chicken area >80% of the time. This study provides a practical approach to enhancing the image quality in applying a machine vision-based method for monitoring poultry health and welfare.
The presence equipment (e.g., water pipes, feed buckets, and other presence equipment, etc.) in the poultry house can occlude the areas of broiler chickens taken via top view. This can affect the analysis of chicken behaviors through a vision-based machine learning imaging method. In our previous study, we developed a machine vision-based method for monitoring the broiler chicken floor distribution, and here we processed and restored the areas of broiler chickens which were occluded by presence equipment. To verify the performance of the developed restoration method, a top-view video of broiler chickens was recorded in two research broiler houses (240 birds equally raised in 12 pens per house). First, a target detection algorithm was used to initially detect the target areas in each image, and then Hough transform and color features were used to remove the occlusion equipment in the detection result further. In poultry images, the broiler chicken occluded by equipment has either two areas (TA) or one area (OA). To reconstruct the occluded area of broiler chickens, the linear restoration method and the elliptical fitting restoration method were developed and tested. Three evaluation indices of the overlap rate (OR), false-positive rate (FPR), and false-negative rate (FNR) were used to evaluate the restoration method. From images collected on d2, d9, d16, and d23, about 100-sample images were selected for testing the proposed method. And then, around 80 high-quality broiler areas detected were further evaluated for occlusion restoration. According to the results, the average value of OR, FPR, and FNR for TA was 0.8150, 0.0032, and 0.1850, respectively. For OA, the average values of OR, FPR, and FNR were 0.8788, 0.2227, and 0.1212, respectively. The study provides a new method for restoring occluded chicken areas that can hamper the success of vision-based machine predictions. View Full-Text
Keywords: broiler chicken; machine vision; image restoring; precision poultry farming broiler chicken; machine vision; image restoring; precision poultry farming
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MDPI and ACS Style

Guo, Y.; Aggrey, S.E.; Oladeinde, A.; Johnson, J.; Zock, G.; Chai, L. A Machine Vision-Based Method Optimized for Restoring Broiler Chicken Images Occluded by Feeding and Drinking Equipment. Animals 2021, 11, 123. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010123

AMA Style

Guo Y, Aggrey SE, Oladeinde A, Johnson J, Zock G, Chai L. A Machine Vision-Based Method Optimized for Restoring Broiler Chicken Images Occluded by Feeding and Drinking Equipment. Animals. 2021; 11(1):123. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010123

Chicago/Turabian Style

Guo, Yangyang; Aggrey, Samuel E.; Oladeinde, Adelumola; Johnson, Jasmine; Zock, Gregory; Chai, Lilong. 2021. "A Machine Vision-Based Method Optimized for Restoring Broiler Chicken Images Occluded by Feeding and Drinking Equipment" Animals 11, no. 1: 123. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010123

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