White broiler chickens with red combs White broiler chickens with red combs

FlockFocus Camera-Based Technology Advances Broiler Chicken Welfare 

Generating Advanced Animal Systems Solutions
Generating Advanced Animal Systems Solutions

Program Contact

Nikki Dutta

Year Awarded  2022

Total award amount   $1,000,000

Location   Belfast, Northern Ireland

Program   SMART Broiler

Matching Funders   McDonald’s Corporation

  • Advanced Animal Systems

Why this research is important

By identifying automated Sensors, Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technologies (SMART) solutions that can replace human observation and subjective scoring, the SMART Broiler initiative can enhance the welfare for 9 billion birds annually in the US and improve producer profitability. 

This project is one of three selected from the six research projects funded in Phase I to receive a total of $1.625 million in Phase II of the SMART Broiler program. In this phase, researchers will optimize hardware and software configurations, advance data management and processing tools for measuring key welfare indicators and justify commercial investment in these new welfare monitoring tools. The technologies will be tested at two broiler producing barns, Tyson Foods Broiler Research Barn in Arkansas and Master Good in Kisvárda, Hungary.

FFAR is pleased to provide further support in Phase II of the SMART Broiler program to these bold projects that are developing technologies to meet consumer and producer demand for increased animal welfare, while helping farmers more efficiently produce one of the world’s most consumed meats. Saharah Moon Chapotin, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Details About this Research

Niamh O’Connell with Queen’s University Belfast is receiving $1 million, with additional in-kind support provided by Moy Park, to transfer intelligent surveillance techniques used for tracking humans to provide real time monitoring of individual birds within a flock. This camera-based technology, called FlockFocus, represents a significant improvement to monitoring technology currently available to the industry and has the potential for revolutionising animal welfare in other sectors.

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