Next Article in Journal
Evaluation of Weissella Cibaria JW15 Probiotic Derived from Fermented Korean Vegetable Product Supplementation in Diet on Performance Characteristics in Adult Beagle Dog
Previous Article in Journal
The First Identification and Antibiogram of Clostridium perfringens Type C Isolated from Soil and The Feces of Dead Foals in South Korea
Previous Article in Special Issue
Validation of a Commercial Automated Body Condition Scoring System on a Commercial Dairy Farm
Open AccessArticle

Validation of an Ultra-Wideband Tracking System for Recording Individual Levels of Activity in Broilers

1
Animal Breeding and Genomics, Wageningen University & Research, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands
2
Department of Animals in Science and Society, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, 3508 TD Utrecht, The Netherlands
3
Research &Development Department, Cobb Europe BV, 5831 GH Boxmeer, The Netherlands
4
Adaptation Physiology Group, Wageningen University & Research, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2019, 9(8), 580; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080580
Received: 24 July 2019 / Revised: 13 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
Broiler chickens are often kept in large groups, which makes it difficult to identify individual birds and monitor their activity. Here, we studied whether an automated tracking system, using ultra-wideband technology, could be implemented to study activity of individual broilers. We compared the distance as recorded with the tracking system to the distance recorded on video and found a moderately strong positive correlation. Using the tracking system, we were able to detect decreases in activity over time, and we found that lightweight birds were on average more active than heavier birds. Both these results match with reports from literature and therefore support the conclusion that the tracking system appears well-suited for monitoring activity in broilers. The information on activity over time that can be collected with this system can potentially be used to study health, welfare and performance at the individual level, but further research into individual patterns in activity is required.
Individual data on activity of broilers is valuable, as activity may serve as a proxy for multiple health, welfare and performance indicators. However, broilers are often kept in large groups, which makes it difficult to identify and monitor them individually. Sensor technologies might offer solutions. Here, an ultra-wideband (UWB) tracking system was implemented with the goal of validating this system for individual tracking of activity of group-housed broilers. The implemented approaches were (1) a comparison of distances moved as recorded by the UWB system and on video and (2) a study recording individual levels of activity of broilers and assessing group-level trends in activity over time; that could be compared to activity trends from literature. There was a moderately strong positive correlation between the UWB system and video tracking. Using the UWB system, we detected reductions in activity over time and we found that lightweight birds were on average more active than heavier birds. Both findings match with reports in literature. Overall, the UWB system appears well-suited for activity monitoring in broilers, when the settings are kept the same for all individuals. The longitudinal information on differences in activity can potentially be used as proxy for health, welfare and performance; but further research into individual patterns in activity is required. View Full-Text
Keywords: tracking; broilers; activity; ultra-wideband; group housing tracking; broilers; activity; ultra-wideband; group housing
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

van der Sluis, M.; de Klerk, B.; Ellen, E.D.; de Haas, Y.; Hijink, T.; Rodenburg, T.B. Validation of an Ultra-Wideband Tracking System for Recording Individual Levels of Activity in Broilers. Animals 2019, 9, 580.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop