Automated monitoring of broilers from different hatching conditions: the HealthyLivestock approach

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstractAcademic


The early peri-hatching environment has effects on the health, resilience and welfare of broiler chickens in later life. Optimal early and later life conditions in combination with reliable automated flock monitoring systems will likely contribute to a reduction in the use of antimicrobials in broiler production. The aim of this study is to investigate if recently developed hatching systems promote health and welfare in broiler chickens, and to validate a PLF tool to monitor these parameters automatically. Therefore, a grow-out experiment with chickens from three different hatching conditions is performed. The chickens are hatched either conventionally (no light, feed or water in the hatcher), in a system which provides feed and water in the hatcher (HatchCare, HatchTech) or on-farm (X-treck,
Vencomatic), where feed and water is available after hatch and, in addition, transport of day-old chickens from
hatcher to farm is not necessary. The animals are housed in a total of 12 floor pens (1,150 animals/pen) with four
replications of each treatment. Each pen is equipped with a camera of the eYeNamic system (Fancom) taking topview images of the flocks. A customized software program translates these images into indices for animal distribution and activity, which are valuable indicators for leg and food pad health. Furthermore, changes in flock activity after inspections rounds by farm staff may be used to measure the animals’ fear responses towards humans automatically.
In order to validate this PLF tool and to investigate whether it is capable to detect also small differences between the treatment groups, the broilers’ health and welfare are assessed manually by means of established scoring protocols. The experiment will be finished at the end of Spring 2019. All data analyses will be completed, and the results will be presented at the EAAP conference.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts of the 70th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science Book of abstracts No. 25 (2019)
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)9789086868902
ISBN (Print)9789086863396
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event70th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (2019) - Ghent, Belgium
Duration: 26 Aug 201930 Aug 2019

Publication series

NameEAAP Book of Abstracts
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers


Conference70th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (2019)
Abbreviated titleEAAP 2019
Internet address

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