Poultry welfare is critical to chicken production. Healthy chickens have the highest feed efficiency, are more productive and profitable and are better for the environment.
Existing methods for assessing animal welfare rely on human observation and subjective scoring. Technologies that automatically collect quantitative data on commercial farms, with 25,000-50,000 birds per house, can help producers significantly improve animal welfare. The commercial broiler industry annually raises billions of chickens specifically for meat. Given the size and scale of these facilities, the potential impact of these technologies on animal welfare cannot be overstated.
We teamed up with McDonald’s Corporation to develop and commercialize automated monitoring tools that objectively assess broiler chickens’ welfare. This research aims to identify Sensors, Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technologies (SMART) solutions that provide objective and comprehensive information about broiler welfare across the supply chain.
SMART Broiler is offering multiple grants totaling $4 million to the individual or group who successfully develops technologies that objectively assess welfare indicators in commercial broiler chicken facilities.