Monitoring the sounds made by a poultry flock may give an earlier indication of disease status than simply relying on visually observations.
Work presented at the World's Poultry Congress, held in Paris, France, during early August, showed that listening to a flock infected with infectious bronchitis allowed researchers to audibly detect infection earlier than they could detect it visually.
Pauline Creach of the institute for applied poultry, rabbit and aquaculture research (ITAVI) explained that ITAVI had identified the acoustic differences between infected and non-infected birds and the acoustic characteristics of respiratory symptoms in sick birds.
The institute reared a flock of 60 broilers that was split into two groups after 28 days. The first group was inoculated with infectious bronchitis and two days prior to inoculation, microphones were placed with both flocks. Using microphones eliminated the stress of direct human observation.
Recordings were made night and day but only the night recordings were analyzed.
Forewarned is forearmed
Background noise was removed from the recordings and rale and sneezes were found to come from the infected group, with sneezes being easily detected automatically. In the control group, noise was found to be stable.
While only a small number of sound signatures have been entered into the researcher’s database, the ITAVI team has nevertheless concluded that sound can be a predicative indication of health problems, offering farms an additional tool to behavioral observation and other techniques and potentially allowing earlier interventions to be taken.