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Investigation into how the quantification of bird behaviour can be used to improve the welfare and productivity of confined animals

The doctoral research consists of two research projects, in which it will be investigated how cameras can be applied to monitor welfare and productivity in bird species. More specifically, it will be investigated to which extent camera-based automatic recognition and quantification of behaviour provide a means for timely monitoring of welfare and productivity and subsequent specific management to improve both welfare and productivity. Research outcomes are envisaged to be quasi directly transferrable towards commercial applications.

The first project considers the development of an early-warning system for the presence of Poultry Red Mite (PRM) in commercial poultry farms in NW Europe. It will be examined which features of group-level laying hen behaviours that are associated with the presence of PRM can be detected and quantified with cameras.
The second project consists of the development of algorithms that enable to automatically quantify pair compatibility between cinereous vulture individuals in European zoos, based on their mutual behaviour. It will be investigated which features of which behaviours can be automatically detected and quantified with cameras.

Date:1 Jul 2019  →  Today
Keywords:Computational ethology, Bird behaviour, Welfare, Cinereous vulture, Productivity, Laying hen, Poultry Red Mite, Conservation breeding
Disciplines:Veterinary ethics and ethology, Computer vision
Project type:PhD project