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The Use of Thermal Images for Identifying Stress Condition in Piglets

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

Citation:  2012 IX International Livestock Environment Symposium (ILES IX)  ILES12-0908.(doi:10.13031/2013.41536)
Authors:   Alexandra F. S Cordeiro, Irenilza A Naas, Flavia Gerbi Jacob, Diego P Neves
Keywords:   Swine, welfare, thermal image

One of the biggest challenges of the meat industry is the provision of animal welfare. Under stress, several physiological changes in the animal organism as increased metabolism might occur, and that can cause change in skin temperature. Thermography allows measuring the surface temperature in a noninvasive manner, without any contact with the animal. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether it is possible to identify conditions of stress in pigs from thermography. Forty piglets in nursery phase photographed separately with the infrared camera of the 880 brands tested in five different situations: normal or stress-free, hungry, cold, thirst and pain. The pictures were analyzed in the Testo software. We obtained the maximum temperature, minimum and average area covering most of the back of the animal. ANOVA with Tukey's test (a <0.05) were used for comparison of means, and data were processed using the Minitab software.

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