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

OPTICFLOCK Camera/Computer System Advances Broiler Chicken Welfare 

Generating Advanced Animal Systems Solutions
Generating Advanced Animal Systems Solutions

Program Contact

Nikki Dutta

ndutta@foundationfar.org

Year Awarded  2022

Total award amount   $325,000

Location   Oxford, United Kingdom

Program   SMART Broiler

Matching Funders   McDonald's Corporation

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 U.S. 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

Marian Dawkins with the University of Oxford is receiving $325,000, with additional in-kind support provided by Munters and Tyson Foods, to refine and extend the testing of a novel camera and computer system called OPTIFLOCK. The project is comparing key welfare outcomes, including hockburn, foot pad lesions and lameness, in commercial flocks managed with or without the technology and incorporates strategies to facilitate producer adoption of OPTIFLOCK technology.

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