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Video Recording System to Assess Animal Welfare Impact of Environmental Changes in Barns

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2022 ASABE Annual International Meeting  2200342.(doi:10.13031/aim.202200342)
Authors:   Daniel W Hofstetter, John Boney
Keywords:   Animal behavior, video monitoring system, PoE cameras, cloud storage, virtual machine, DVR.

Abstract. Animal welfare may be enhanced if research tools are developed to continuously monitor animal behavior on farm. Turkeys are curious, and their behavior changes when humans are present, making it difficult to assess behavioral changes from environmental adjustments such as lighting or ventilation. Additionally, many poultry producers have off-farm jobs. A video monitoring system may be used to aid in poultry management from remote locations. This paper describes a highly flexible custom solution to monitor birds using internet-connected cameras and a Windows 10 virtual machine running Agent DVR recording software with OneDrive for cloud storage of video footage. The video recording system was used to record activity of turkeys living in sixteen different pens continuously for six weeks for an animal welfare study assessing differences in behavior for birds raised with night lights compared to birds raised in complete darkness at night. Discussion will include lessons learned from setup and operation of the recording hardware, software, and cloud storage platform, as well as observations from footage recorded during the animal welfare study.

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