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Engenharia Agrícola

Print version ISSN 0100-6916

Abstract

NAAS, Irenilza de A. et al. Image analysis for assessing broiler breeder behavior response to thermal environment . Eng. Agríc. [online]. 2012, vol.32, n.4, pp. 624-632. ISSN 0100-6916.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-69162012000400001.

The research proposes a methodology for assessing broiler breeder response to changes in rearing thermal environment. The continuous video recording of a flock analyzed may offer compelling evidences of thermal comfort, as well as other indications of welfare. An algorithm for classifying specific broiler breeder behavior was developed. Videos were recorded over three boxes where 30 breeders were reared. The boxes were mounted inside an environmental chamber were ambient temperature varied from cold to hot. Digital images were processed based on the number of pixels, according to their light intensity variation and binary contrast allowing a sequence of behaviors related to welfare. The system used the default of x, y coordinates, where x represents the horizontal distance from the top left of the work area to the point P, and y is the vertical distance. The video images were observed, and a grid was developed for identifying the area the birds stayed and the time they spent at that place. The sequence was analyzed frame by frame confronting the data with specific adopted thermal neutral rearing standards. The grid mask overlapped the real bird image. The resulting image allows the visualization of clusters, as birds in flock behave in certain patterns. An algorithm indicating the breeder response to thermal environment was developed.

Keywords : animal welfare; image processing; clusters analysis.

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