Audio analytics, sensors and other new tools assess bird behaviors and vocalizations to provide early warning of potential broiler health and welfare issues, Tom Darbonne, CEO at AudioT Inc, explained at the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE), in Atlanta, Georgia.
The use of sounds to monitor broiler health and welfare is nothing new. Farmers used to go sit in the barn and listen. Audio-based assessments help to automate this process.
“It’s not an entire solution, but it’s a part of the solution,” he added. “The two technologies that track behavior really well are visual and auditory.”
The system uses a combination of acoustic signal processing techniques and machine learning to track and analyze the sound in the poultry houses. If an event of interest (e.g., coughs) or an anomaly (e.g, dry auger or fan motor failure) occurs, the farmers receive an alert.
During the 2020 Virtual Poultry Tech Summit, Darbonne said the audio technology can detect potential environmental issues in addition to assessing behavior, welfare and health, including food shortages, disruptions to sleep cycles, instances when water pressure in the lines are too low, when ventilator fans are about to fail and other unseen or otherwise undetected issues.
AudioT was named one of the three finalists for Phase II of the SMART Broiler Initiative at the 2022 Poultry Tech Summit. The SMART Broiler initiative, sponsored by the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) and McDonald’s Corporation, leads the search for automated Sensors, Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technologies (SMART) that could enhance bird welfare and improve efficiencies for producers.
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