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Automatic welfare assessment in broilers

with focus on human-animal relationship and lameness

Silvera, Anna (2017). Automatic welfare assessment in broilers. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2017:42
ISBN 978-91-576-8857-6
eISBN 978-91-576-8858-3
[Doctoral thesis]

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Broiler production today is an intensive farming sector with large flocks which can make it difficult for farmers to continuously monitor the animals. At the same time, society demands good animal welfare and the possibility to buy animal welfare certified products. Difficulties with the application of existing animal welfare assessment protocols are the time and effort needed for a complete assessment on farm and consequently long intervals between assessments. This hampers the use of the outcomes as a management tool. Automatic and (semi) continuous monitoring of welfare, production and other management parameters could solve that problem. In this thesis the possibilities to automatically assess two welfare parameters for broilers, human-animal relationship and lameness, were investigated in detail. The automatization was based on image analysis techniques.

Study I was designed to investigate the possibility to affect the human-animal relationship through additional human contact and the effect on the birds’ productivity. The additional human contact treatment had a positive effect on the quality of the human-animal relationship but failed to affect any production parameter. The possibilities to use automatic recordings of broiler chicken activity to assess the human-animal relationship and the birds´ walking ability were investigated in Study II and III respectively. The results show that changes in broiler activity, in response to the presence of a human, can predict the human-animal relationship (Study II) and the level of lameness (Study III). Study IV focused on leg health in broilers from an economic perspective. The first aim was to explore the economic potential of management practices intended to reduce broiler lameness. Secondly it was investigated through a survey how Swedish broiler farmers perceive these management practices.

The results in this thesis show the potential of using automatic image analysis techniques to assess the quality of the human-animal relationship and lameness in commercial broiler flocks and thus can be of use in animal welfare assessment. Results also show that it is possible to positively modify the human-animal relationship and that there is an economical potential to use alternative practises to reduce lameness.

Authors/Creators:Silvera, Anna
Title:Automatic welfare assessment in broilers
Subtitle:with focus on human-animal relationship and lameness
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :April 2017
Depositing date:11 April 2017
Number of Pages:61
ISilvera, A.M., Wallenbeck, A., Butterworth, A. & Blokhuis, H.J. (2017). Modification of the human-broiler relationship and its potential effects on production. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A — Animal Science. DOI: 10.1080/09064702.2017.1286379
IISilvera, A.M., Knowles, T.G., Butterworth, A., Berckmans, D., Vranken, E. & Blokhuis, H.J. (2017). Assessment of the human-animal relationship in commercial broiler flocks using automatic monitoring of activity. (Manuscript)
IIISilvera, A.M., Knowles, T.G., Butterworth, A., Berckmans, D., Vranken, E. & Blokhuis, H.J. (2017). Lameness Assessment With Automatic Monitoring of Activity in Commercial Broiler Flocks. Accepted by Poultry Science.
IVGocsik, E., Silvera, A.M., Hansson, H., Saatkamp, H.W. & Blokhuis, H.J. (2017). Exploring the economic potential of reducing broiler lameness British Poultry Science. Published online. DOI:10.1080/00071668.2017.1304530
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Department of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-8857-6
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-8858-3
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:L Animal production > L01 Animal husbandry
L Animal production > L20 Animal ecology
L Animal production > L74 Miscellaneous animal disorders
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 402 Animal and Dairy Science > Animal and Dairy Science.
Agrovoc terms:broiler chickens, chickens, animal husbandry, animal housing, livestock, animal health, animal welfare, behaviour, monitoring, economics, sweden
Keywords:precision livestock farming, image analysis, welfare, lameness, human-animal relationship, economy
Permanent URL:
ID Code:14245
Faculty:VH - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health
Deposited By: Anna Silvera
Deposited On:12 Apr 2017 06:48
Metadata Last Modified:09 Sep 2020 14:17

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