Sensor technology is developing very quickly. This offers interesting opportunities to record traits related to animal health and behaviour. But a lot of research still needs to be done on how to use these sensors and how to analyse the data. Within the Breed4Food Precision Phenotyping programme, we are carrying out several pilot studies on relevant traits in different livestock species.
Locomotion of turkeys
One of the traits we studied is the locomotion of turkeys. Up until now this is still recorded by people, but is very labour intensive and always requires removal of the birds from the group. If the monitoring can be done with sensors while the birds remain in their group, this has the advantage that data are collected continuously and not just at regular intervals and also the daily routine of the birds is not disturbed.
This will contribute to sustainable food production, where animals thrive in socially-accepted production systems.